‘White Night’, the upcoming film about the infamous People’s Temple leader Reverend Jim Jones, has found its cast in Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Chloe Grace Moretz.
Gordon-Levitt will play the infamous cult leader, who originally established the People’s Temple in 1955 in Indianapolis, before moving around the country and finally establishing its headquarters in San Francisco.
Those familiar with the temple are aware that Jones would eventually move his followers to a settlement in Guyana, that he dubbed “Jonestown”. Jones choose to move to Guyana in 1977 to get away from the media, and the unwanted attention his cult had been receiving in the news, after former members of the group claimed to have been abused while in the temple, along with other questionable practices.
While Grace Moretz will play Deborah Layton, the former high-ranking member of the People’s Temple who after managing to escape the Guyana encampment, released an affidavit detailing the practices that went on in “Jonestown.” One of which was drill scenarios that Jones referred to as “White Nights.”
Convinced that the CIA and other intelligence agencies were conspiring after him, Jones would have the members of “Jonestown” conduct these “White Nights” where members would choose how they would handle the potential threat. One of the options was “revolutionary suicide.”
After hearing reports of being concerned for the wellbeing of the American citizens who had chosen to follow Jones into the jungle, California Congressman Leo Ryan decided to visit “Jonestown” in November 1978.
After conducting his investigation, Ryan, along with his party were killed by members of the cult, despite Ryan stating that he would issue a report that everything was “in basically good terms” within the settlement.
Following the murders, Jones had a group of his followers prepare the infamous grape flavor aid poisoned with diphenhydramine, promethazine, chlorpromazine, chloroquine, chloral hydrate, valium, and cyanide.
On November 18, 1978, Jones urged all of his followers to drink the flavor aid and commit “revolutionary suicide”, as they had practiced during their “White Nights” scenarios.
On that day, more than 900 members of the People’s Temple died. Although the actual cause of death of each member is in question, as it’s likely loyal followers of Jones willing took the drink, some victims were found to have marks suggesting they were unwillingly injected with poison.
Jones himself would die by a fatal gunshot wound to the head. Although his death is also in question, some believe he took his own life, while others believe he was killed by his nurse Annie Moore, who after killing Jones then shot herself in the same manner.
Days before the mass-murder/suicide Layton gave a testimony requesting help for the residents of “Jonestown.”
Layton would go on to write Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivor’s Story of Life and Death in the Peoples Temple, which detailed the accounts that transpired within the temple.
Her book will serve as the basis of the film ‘White Night’, which follows Layton and her firsthand experiences as a member of the cult. Including her rise through the temple, eventual introduction into Jones’s inner circle, and her attempts to bring attention to the cult before it was too late.
The film is set to be directed by Anne Sewitsky, with William Wheeler adapting the screenplay based on Layton’s memoirs.
Details on White Night are scarce at this time but as more information becomes available Horror Facts will be sure to report it.