Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt will portray the infamous cult leader Jim Jones in the psychological thriller White Night. The Hollywood Reporter says the film is an adaptation of “Jonestown” survivor Deborah Layton’s memoir Seductive Poison. Actress Chloë Grace Moretz will portray Layton, and Anne Sewitsky (A Very British Scandal) will serve as the film’s director. The film is financed by FilmNation Entertainment which will produce the film along with Archer Gray. The film will be directed from a script written by William Wheeler (The Ghost in the Shell). FilmNation will launch the sales project at Berlin’s European Film Market next week.
Deadline explains that Deborah Layton rose through the ranks of Jones’ cult People’s Temple. She eventually entered Jones’ inner circle and became a leading member of the cult until she realized how dangerous Jones really was and tried to expose him to the world. Jones extended his cult following in 1974 when he established “Jonestown” in Guyana. On November 18, 1978, in one of the largest mass murder-suicides on record, Jones commanded his followers to drink poison. More than 900 people died that day.
Gordon-Levitt is known for starring in all six seasons of 3rd Rock from the Sun and for film roles such as The Dark Knight Rises and Inception. He will soon be seen as Travis Kalanick, the founder of Uber, in Showtime’s limited series Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber. He is also voicing Jiminy Crickett in Robert Zemeckis’ live-action adaptation of Disney’s Pinocchio. Moretz has had roles in the recent Addams Family films, the recent Tom and Jerry movie, and Shadow in the Cloud.
Interestingly, White Night is not the only “Jonestown” project in the works. Leonardo DiCaprio is portraying Jones in Scott Rosenberg’s upcoming biopic about the famous cult leader.
White Night will begin filming this spring.
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