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Octavia Spencer Options Award-Winning Tome 'The Untold Story of the Rev. Jim Jones & His People'

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act October 26, 2012 at 10:58AM

Interesting... it wouldn't be the first book I'd expect her to option, but still an interesting choice.
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Octavia Spencer - Credit: Thomas Whiteside, Alexi Lubomirski/Elle
Octavia Spencer - Credit: Thomas Whiteside, Alexi Lubomirski/Elle

Interesting... it wouldn't be the first book I'd expect her to option, but still an interesting choice.

I lifted the below paragraph from the November issue of Elle magazine (with Sarah Jessica Parker on the cover; their "Women In Hollywood" issue): 

What she really wants to do is produce. "George Clooney - yes I'm dropping a name - told me to find projects, work with the best," Spencer says. She just optioned Raven: The Untold Story of the Rev. Jim Jones and His People. "I thought it was time for people to understand where that phrase, 'don't drink the Kool-aid' actually came from. There are so many parts in it. I don't want to have to carry the weight of anything. I want to share the load. I want to be always part of an ensemble."

Again, an interesting choice, as well as her revelation that she's not exactly keen on carrying a film, and would seemingly rather be one piece of a larger puzzle.

As for the book... it's an award-winning 700-page tome, penned by Tim Reiterman, published in 2008, and is said to be the definitive history of the Rev. Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple, and the murderous ordeal at Jonestown 30 years ago.

The book explores the ideals-gone-wrong, the intrigue, and the grim realities behind the Peoples Temple and its implosion in the jungle of South America. Reiterman’s reportage clarifies enduring misperceptions of the character and motives of Jim Jones, the reasons why people followed him, and the important truth that many of those who perished at Jonestown were victims of mass murder rather than suicide.

Untold Story

Over 900 people died on that tragic day in November 1978. 

Spencer doesn't say much more about the option; a lot still has to happen before it becomes a movie, or whatever her plans might be for it (it could be a TV mini-series as well, given the scope of the work and real-life events the book is based on).

She obviously wouldn't star, but I'd guess that her role will be significant, maybe as one of the Peoples Temple members...???

But glad to see Ms Spencer taking charge of her career, instead of waiting for projects to come to her.

She has several films at various stages of development, scheduled to be out in the next 12 to 24 months - a starring role in Diablo Cody’s directing debut; and a project I'm really looking forward to, Joon-ho Bong's thriller Snowpiercer (he directed the awesome South Korean creature feature The Host), to the Forest Whitaker-producer Oscar Grant project, Fruitvale, as well as the feature film adaptation of David E. Talbert's Baggage Claim.

Also, already in theaters, the adaptation of Del Shores’ 2003 critically-acclaimed, award-winning play titled The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife, titled Blues For Willadean.

This article is related to: Octavia Spencer


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