With Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky‘s “Paradise Lost” trilogy, the Peter Jackson-produced “West of Memphis” and a plethora of books and other material about the West Memphis Three, you might think the subject was all done. Far from it. Last year “The Devil’s Knot” started heading into production from Canadian director Atom Egoyan (“Exotica,” “Chloe,” “The Sweet Hereafter“) with Reese Witherspoon to star. Now another Academy Award winner is coming on board.
Colin Firth, who previously teamed with Egoyan on “Where the Truth Lies,” has joined the film. ‘Devil’s Knot’ will take a different tack than the documentaries, getting out of the courtroom and taking a look at how the murder impacted the lives of those in the community. Witherspoon will play Pam Hobbs, one of the mothers of the victims who eventually becomes convinced that Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr. have been wrongly convicted. As for Firth, he takes the role of Ron Lax, a private investigator who worked pro bono on behalf of the West Memphis Three who found the DNA strand that began to suggest Terry Hobbs might have been involved in the crime.
The film is based on the book “Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three” and has been in development since 2006, with a script from “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” writers Scott Derrickson and Paul Boardman (which has subsequently been rewritten by Egoyan and Boardman), and the production has landed the life rights to many people involved in the case.
“The Devil’s Knot” is gearing up to shoot this summer, and apparently, these aren’t the only big names that will on board with lots of smaller roles still to be cast. [Deadline]