Sarah Paulson is ready to each star in and govt produce a scripted adaptation of HBO Max documentary The Means Down: God, Greed, and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin, taking over the titular position.
Gwen Shamblin based her Franklin, Tennessee church in 1999, however a documentary about her life, profession, and allegedly unfavorable affect wasn’t launched till simply final yr. Shamblin rose to fame with a religion-centered workshop and bestselling eating regimen ebook referred to as The Weigh Down earlier than founding her church, which some alleged allowed her and others to take abusive, cult-like management of their lives.
The Means Down, created by Marina Zenovich, premiered on HBO Max in September of 2021, however Shamblin’s abrupt demise in a airplane crash in Could of the identical yr changed the course of production (opens in new tab). The primary three episodes contained interviews with ex-church members and those that knew Shamblin in her ‘non secular eating regimen guru’ days, with many others who thought-about themselves survivors of Shamblin’s cult declining to take part out of concern of backlash from the previous multi-millionaire and her church.
Shamblin’s passing triggered Zenovich to not solely revise the final two episodes – which lastly premiered on HBO Max earlier this yr in April – however embrace new testimonies from those that had beforehand been afraid to talk out. The Means Down is the streaming app’s most-watched docuseries debut.
Michelle Dean, co-creator of Hulu’s The Act, primarily based on the documentary Mommy Useless and Dearest, is ready to function showrunner.
For extra, take a look at our checklist of true crime documentaries that put the victims first.