James Gandolfini is going from playing a mob boss to playing a cult leader. Not a big stretch. He has a deal with HBO and he’s agreed to star in a miniseries about Jim Jones the charismatic leader of the Peoples Temple who led the group in mass suicide in 1978. Jones had moved 1000 church members to Guyana to set up a utopian society called Jonestown, but the group was struggling and Jones was secretly addicted to drugs. In the end over 900 men women and children were dead – mostly from cyanide poisoning.



  1. From big time gangsta to big time charismatic druggie minister? Who would ever think he’d be so versatile?

  2. Are these actors and producers donating part of the profits to the victims of this horrendous crime? Doubt it.

  3. Why do we need another mini-series about Jim Jones? It’s already been done before(and was done very well, I might add). And there was a documentary about Jim Jones released in 2006. It’s a tired idea.

  4. JG is one of the greatest actors walking and would give the right creepy edge to Jim Jones! But he’s gonna have to lose a shitzload of weight to play the role perfectly for another Emmy.

  5. An actor named Booth Powers (I think that was his name) starred in a miniseries about 25 years ago, playing Jim Jones. He was SO creepy in the role!
    I’ll never forget that disgusting koolaid scene!

  6. JJ was bi so I wonder if Big T is going to saddle up for some guy-on-guy action?

  7. Powers Boothe won an Emmy in 1980 for his portrayal of Jim Jones. He is also excellent in DEADWOOD!
    James Gandolfini played Tony Soprano heavy and has dropped large weight. He is a hippy again. And he has big shoes to fill following the original with Powers.

  8. I don’t think he can lose the weight, or is Jim Jones going to be a heavyweight death star?

  9. The miniseries idea cheapens the hoffific Jonestown deaths. The screens have already been filled with the visual images of the last days. A miniseries will just perpetuate the superficial and tabloid interpretation of what began for many as a humanitarian and egalitarian effort!

  10. Powers Booth did a bad enough job back in 1980. He and those who directed him hadn’t a clue who Jim Jones was or what motivated a thousand people of all races to leave the USA for the promise of the Guyanese jungle. James Gandolfini threatens us with a rendering of Jones that is even more shallow, vulgar and lurid than anything that’s been produced before and reflects the sick values of our corporate culture rather than the altruistic ones of Peoples Temple and in the early years, at least, of Jim Jones himself.

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