Set for release on May 9 is Image Entertaiment’s crime thriller Devil’s Knot, which now has an official trailer.
Devil’s Knot, about the West Memphis Three killings, stars Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon. The film, which received mostly mixed reviews at Toronto, is based on Mara Leveritt’s book “Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three.”
“Devil’s Knot tells the compelling story of three teenagers accused of the brutal 1993 murder of three 8-year old boys in Memphis, Ark. – two of them sentenced to life imprisonment and one to death. The film explores the lives of deeply misunderstood outsiders, their families and communities, and their darkest fantasies. The conviction of the West Memphis Three – Damien Echols, Jesse Misskelley, Jr., and Jason Baldwin – riled the American justice system, shocked a tightly knit religious town and outraged the nation.” READ MORE
Colin Firth has joined Reese Witherspoon in Devil’s Knot, the Atom Egoyan-directed drama about the West Memphis 3, reports Deadline. The Sweet Hereafter and Chloe director Egoyan came aboard to direct a script that was originally written by Scott Derrickson and Paul Boardman, the team behind The Exorcism Of Emily Rose.
Firth will play Ron Lax, a private investigator who was the first pro bono supporter of the defendents as they headed to trial in 1993. Lax built one of the most prominent private investigative firms in the Southeast, and offered his services for free to the defendants, who at the time were reviled because of the heinous nature of the crime and the sensationalized reports about devil worship and ritualistic sacrifice. All of that was later proven to be unfounded, after Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were convicted despite not a shred of physical evidence. Lax was an unsung hero and helped find the DNA in the knots that bound one of the victims, that cast suspicion on Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of Steven Branch, one of the 8-year old murdered boys.
Witherspoon will play Pam Hobbs, the mother of Branch. She initially believed the trio murdered her son, is eventually persuaded that the three suspects are innocent and wrongly accused. Filming begins next summer in Louisiana, and other big names are expected to join the cast in smaller roles.
Egoyan has been working hard with Boardman on a rewrite. The script is based on investigative reporter Mara Leveritt’s 2003 book “Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three,” an in-depth chronicle of the sensationalized trials that sent the three to prison for the murder of the three 8-year old boys who were found hog-tied in a drainage ditch. READ MORE
While she once was an edgy upcoming starlette (Freeway, American Psycho, Fear and S.F.W.), Reese Witherspoon is now a family friendly actress that stars in movies like Four Christmases, Monsters vs Aliens, Vanity Fair and Legally Blonde. It’s weird announcing her addition to Atom Egoyan’s West Memphis Three drama Devil’s Knot. It makes me nervous.
The pic is based on investigative reporter Mara Leveritt’s 2003 book “Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three,” which chronicled the prolonged murder trial of defendants Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., who served 18 years in prison before being released in August. The trio were accused of killing Christopher Byers, Michael Moore and Stevie Branch, three 8-year-old boys who were found brutally murdered and hog-tied in a wooded area of West Memphis, Arkansas known as Robin Hood Hills.
Variety reports that Witherspoon will play Pam Hobbs, the mother of one of the victims. Hobbs originally believed that Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley murdered her son, but as the case dragged on and more details became available, she came to believe that the trio did not commit the heinous crime.
Mark Sevi wrote the original draft of the screenplay, with the current draft penned by Scott Derrickson (Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister) and Paul Boardman, who began working on the project in 2006 when it was set up at Dimension Films. Egoyan also had a hand in rewriting the script with Boardman.
Production on the under-$20 million feature is expected to start in the summer. READ MORE