Filming will begin next month in Georgia on the West Memphis Three biopic based on Mara Leveritt's 2002 book about the brutal murders of three young boys back in 1993. Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth are confirmed to star in Devil's Knot which just obtained financial backing from Worldview Entertainment. Atom Egoyan is directing from a screenplay by Paul Harris Boardman and Scott Derrickson. Elizabeth Fowler, Clark Peterson, Richard Saperstein and Worldview CEO Christopher Woodrow are on board as producers.
The 1994 trials of the three then-teenagers - Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Miskelly Jr. - accused of the savage killings caught the attention of documentary filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, and their Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills aired on HBO in 1996 detailing the crimes and the trials. That documentary was followed by Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000) and, ultimately, the Oscar-nominated Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory premiered in 2011 ending with the release of the three wrongly accused men who had spent 18 years in prison for crimes they didn't commit. The documentaries are credited with bringing attention to the case and helping to get the three released from prison in August 2011.
Devil's Knot will be executive produced by two of the three defendants, Jessie Misskelley Jr and Jason Baldwin.
Commenting on their support of the film, Worldview CEO Woodrow stated: "Worldview is excited to be involved with such an important and relevant project. We believe this story needs to be told on screen and we couldn't ask for a higher caliber of talent to do so."
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)