Sarah Paulson is set to star and exec produce the HBO Max scripted adaptation of its docuseries The Way Down: God, Greed, and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin.
Deadline broke the news in April that the streamer was adapting its documentary about the cult-like figure, who died last year, as a scripted series.
Paulson will play Shamblin, who rose to fame with her Weigh Down Workshop, a Christian-based diet program, and founded the Remnant Fellowship Church. She was a charismatic figure with a carefully curated image who was accused of emotional, psychological and physical abuse and exploitation for the church’s alleged cult-like practices.
Michelle Dean, who recently served as showrunner and exec producer of Hulu’s The Act, starring Patricia Arquette and Joey King, will serve as showrunner and exec producer of the scripted series, which comes from Ross Dinerstein’s Campfire Studios and Chrissy Teigen’s Huntley Productions.
The project, which is still in development, will be exec produced by Paulson, Dean, Dinerstein, Teigen, Marina Zenovich — who directed the docuseries — Nile Cappello, P.G. Morgan and Luke Dillon. Rebecca Evans and Ross Girard serve as co-EPs.
The Way Down launched in September with three episodes, becoming the streamer’s most-watched docuseries at time of release.
Just before finishing the series, Shamblin and her husband died in a plane crash, and the team pivoted and produced two more episodes, talking to more people about the controversial Remnant Fellowship Church and its founder.
(Excerpt) Read more in: Deadline