The brothers Chapman and Maclain Way spoke to Nathan McAlone in a recent interview for Business Insider. Published on March 30, 2018.
The series looks at the “actually insane” (their words) story of Rajneeshpuram, a utopian city the followers of an Indian guru built in rural Oregon in the 1980s. It includes free love, machine guns, Rolls Royces, and bioterrorism. But it’s not all about the headline-grabbing details. The series works so well because it’s both a wild ride and a nuanced portrait of a struggle between the cult and the local townspeople – complete with compelling interviews with the major players on both sides.
The series has gotten great word-of-mouth buzz since it debuted earlier this month, and fans are clamoring for a follow-up. They might be in luck.
“We are definitely open to a follow-up,” co-director Chapman Way told us about a potential ‘Wild Wild Country’ sequel. “I don’t know whether we’d do a whole other season two, but maybe a one-off episode.” Chapman Way said that because of the popularity of the series – that they weren’t quite expecting – they have gotten a wide range of emails of people giving them new information and updates on the story of Rajneeshpuram.
Way also said he and his brother (co-director Maclain Way) were in the process of developing two other documentary series they didn’t want to discuss in detail quite yet.
As to what form a ‘Wild Wild Country’ follow-up would take, the Way brothers were not specific. But they did mention one particular element they left on the cutting-room floor for the 6-part original series: a “day in the life” section.
Here’s how Maclain Way described it:
“We asked our interviewees to walk us through a day in the life in Rajneeshpuram and they gave us some amazing material, almost in the mundaneness of it. But really beautiful answers about how they would wake up, and sometimes they would sleep in, or get a little tea. And after breakfast they would go get some work done in their department, and then they’d come back for lunch. Some people worked as mechanics in Rajneesh Buddhafield Garage, some people worked in PR and they would go to their office, some people worked in the legal department, some people worked the farms. [It was] just really interesting to hear them slow-walk you through an average, typical day. It was just something we couldn’t find a spot for. But maybe as a DVD extra or something we’ll be able to get it up there.”
If “Wild Wild Country” does get a sequel, it will no doubt appear on Netflix. The Ways said they loved their experience working with the streaming giant, who also distributed their previous documentary ‘The Battered Bastards of Baseball’ (2014), after buying it at Sundance.
And the Ways hope others will dig into the Rajneesh story as well.
“We feel no ownership over the story of Rajneeshpuram,” Maclain Way said. “It belongs to the public and there is a ton of footage out there, and archives, and even stories and angles that were not included in ‘Wild Wild Country’ that I would be the first person to buy a book about, or watch another documentary or podcast [about].”
Featured image credit to Sanjiva – sanjivamusic.com