Our film staff was less than impressed with Jaume Collet-Serra’s last genre offering, 2016’s woman-versus-giant-shark thriller The Shallows. (Reviewer Ignatiy Vishnevetsky compared it unfavorably to Collet-Serra’s earlier entry in the “Liam Neeson shoots people” genre, Non-Stop.) Now, Deadline reports that Collet-Serra is moving away from gimmicks and man-eating predators and into the real world, having been tapped to direct a film based on the deadly Waco siege of 1993.
Written by Zero Dark Thirty’s Mark Boal and Kubo And The Two Strings’ Marc Haimes, Waco hopes to tell the story of the 51-day Texas stand-off between government forces and members of David Koresh’s Branch Davidian group, which ended with a lethal fire and 76 people dead. The film will track Koresh’s rise, as well as the government’s response. “Waco was a turning point in history in the battle between the FBI and the far right in America,” said Boal, who also praised Collet-Serra as an unsung hitmaker. “Jaume is a filmmaker who has proven himself to have a strong connection to mainstream audiences,” Boal said. “His work also shows a high level of artistic ambition, and this is an opportunity to combine those elements in telling a story that started in a small Texas town and reached up to the highest levels of government.”