Paramount Pictures officially released the first trailer for their upcoming miniseries titled Waco. The show is based around the controversial fifty-one-day standoff between the Branch Davidians and the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) twenty-four years ago in Elk, Texas (nine miles northeast of Waco).
The events of Waco follow the siege of a compound belonging to the Branch Davidians by American federal and Texas state law enforcement and US military between February 28 and April 19, 1993. The Branch Davidians, a sect that separated in 1955 from the Seventh-day Adventist Church, was led by David Koresh and lived at Mount Carmel Center ranch. The group was suspected of weapons violations, causing a search and arrest warrant to be obtained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
The incident began when the ATF attempting to raid the ranch. An intense gun battle erupted, resulting in the deaths of four government agents and six Branch Davidians. Upon the ATF’s failure to raid the compound, a siege was initiated by the FBI, the standoff lasting fifty-one days. Eventually, the FBI launched an assault and initiated a tear gas attack in an attempt to force the Branch Davidians out of the ranch. During the attack, a fire engulfed Mount Carmel Center. In total, seventy-six people died, including Branch Davidian leader David Koresh.
The upcoming Waco miniseries will be a 6 part event. The show is based on two biographies, A Place Called Waco, by Branch Davidian David Thibodeau, one of the nine survivors of the final fire on April 19, 1993, and Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator, written by the FBI’s Head of Crisis Negotiation Unit Gary Noesner.
Waco stars Michael Shannon, Taylor Kitsch, Andrea Riseborough, John Leguizamo, Rory Culkin, Melissa Benoist, Paul Sparks, and Shea Whigham.