Tim Daly is a phenomenal actor; NBC’s Wings and the WB’s Superman: The Animated Series, both of which featured Daly as the star, kept me captivated as a young’un. (I was Joe Hackett, high-strung and all.) However, as nimble an actor as he is, one role could be pointed to as a hiccup in his career: his turn as David Koresh, leader of the Branch-Davidians, in In the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco. The film detailed the siege on the Branch-Davidians’ compound in Waco, Texas, by the ATF and FBI following suspicions of weapons stockpiling, child abuse, and statutory rape by Koresh. While Daly brought a generous mix of cunning charisma and creep-factor to the role of Koresh, the made-for-TV movie was sloppy at best, ill-advised and crass at worst, airing just months after the siege.
13 years later, Weinstein Television has decided to have a go at telling the tale of the siege, which, to put it generously, was a bit of an imbroglio–although I’d probably throw the word “clusterfuck” in there for good measure. For a television miniseries adapatation with a TBD release date, the Weinsteins have pegged Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as David Koresh, with Michael Shannon (Man of Steel, Boardwalk Empire) to play FBI negotiator Gary Noesener.
Whatever you think of the siege–and opinions are most decidedly all over the place for this one–it looks as though the Weinsteins are looking to treat their telling of what happened as even-handedly as possible, given the circumstances. The screenplay will be borrowing from Noesener’s book Sinful Messiah and A Place Called Waco by David Thibodeau, a Branch Davidian who survived that day. However it ultimately turns out, at least the initial moves to tell the story are being thoughtfully made. And it’s being made by the Weinsteins, who, on the whole, are known for producing quality celluloid yarns.
Update to the original story: According to Deadline, Spike TV has secured the rights to Weinstein Television’s Waco six-part miniseries.