Colin Firth has joined Atom Egoyan’s “Devil’s Knot”, his upcoming dramatic feature about the West Memphis Three reports Deadline.
The WM3 were three teenagers – Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley – who were sent to prison for the heinous murder of the three 8-year old boys who were found hog-tied in a drainage ditch.
The trio were convicted despite not a shred of physical evidence, and sensationalized reports about devil worship and ritualistic sacrifice only serve to fuel public opinion against them.
Firth will play Ron Lax, a prominent private investigator and the first pro bono supporter of the defendents as they headed to trial in 1993.
Lax helped find the DNA in the knots that bound one of the victims, evidence which cast suspicion on the stepfather of one of the boys – Terry Hobbs. Reese Witherspoon has already been cast to play Pam Hobbs, who is eventually persuaded that the three suspects are wrongly accused.
The defendants were released from prison last August after eighteen years. At least four documentaries about the story have been made including the “Paradise Lost” trilogy and the Peter Jackson-produced “West of Memphis”.
This narrative feature will be based on investigative reporter Mara Leveritt’s 2003 book. “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” duo Scott Derrickson and Paul Boardman penned the ‘Knot’ script with Boardman and Egoyan working hard on re-writes recently. Shooting kicks off next summer in Louisiana.