Colin Firth to Co-Star with Reese Witherspoon in Atom Egoyan’s West Memphis Three Movie, DEVIL’S KNOT

by     Posted 2 years, 171 days ago

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Colin Firth is set to co-star with Reese Witherspoon in Atom Egoyan‘s adaptation of Devil’s Knot.  The film is based off Mara Leveritt‘s novel of the same name, which centers on the West Memphis Three.  For those who don’t know, the West Memphis Three were three non-conformist teenagers who were arrested and convicted for the murder of three eight-year-old boys despite flimsy evidence and the jury’s ignorance and prejudice.  The three remained in prison for almost 20 years on a crime they obviously didn’t commit.  Their story was chronicled in the documentary Paradise Lost (and its two subsequent sequels) and the new documentary, West of Memphis.

Hit the jump for more.

Devils-Knot-book-coverPer Deadline, “Firth will play Ron Lax, a private investigator who was the first pro bono supporter of the defendants 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.”

As we reported in December, Witherspoon will play Pam Hobbs, a mother of one of the victims who is at first convinced of the teenagers’ guilt, but starts to question their conviction once the case drags on.  In a dramatic twist, Lax found DNA evidence that cast suspicion on Terry Hobbs, Pam’s husband and step-father to the 8-year-old murder victim, Steven Branch.  Filming begins next summer in Lousiana, and Deadline reports “other big names are expected to join the cast in smaller roles.”

What happened to the West Memphis Three—Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley—was horrible.  However, I believe their case has found traction not only because of devoted documentary filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, and from Leveritt‘s book, because of what Echols, Baldwin, and Misskelley represent.  They were outsiders, and adults who are captivated by their case remember what they were like as the ostracized teens and they wonder, “What if that had happened to me?”  It’s a curious support because injustice like this happens all the time.  It usually happens to racial minorities, but those cases don’t get as much attention although they happen far more often.

So how will Egoyan’s movie go deeper than simply presenting themes of prejudice, ignorance, and injustice?  What does this movie provide, especially since The West Memphis Three were finally freed last year (although under shitty circumstances where they had to admit guilt)?  What is it casting light on?  The movie isn’t a rush job and they’ve been working on the movie since 2006 with Egoyan recently re-working the script with co-writer Paul Boardman (The Exorcism of Emily Rose).  I’m curious to see how recent events will affect their script or if the Three’s release will simply be an end title card.

 




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  • MarciaLucasHater

    Reese will win another Oscar for this, along with Mud and Big Eyes.

  • West Memphis Three Evidence

    Here are facts about the West Memphis Three case:

    Many people believe the WM3 were not innocent but guilty as charged and that they were the ones that committed the crime. They were found guilty by a unanimous jury the first time. They plead guilty instead of waiting for a trial the second time.

    Two of the new “witnesses” against Hobbs are fourth-hand statements. They claim that Michael Hobbs told them something, which Michael Hobbs heard from his father, which he heard from someone else.

    The DNA found at the scene of the crime of the three murdered boys that was supposedly from Hobbs was from a hair that could have come from simple contact with one of the victims. The hair could have belonged to 1.5 percent of the population (or several million people).

    The evidence against Hobbs is very weak. The evidence and the many confessions against the WM3 is much stronger.

    Misskelley confessed three separate times, once with his lawyer present. Misskelley also told two other people about the crime before he was arrested. Baldwin told someone else he committed the crimes. Echols was seen in muddy clothes near the crime scene. Echols is reported to have either told or bragged about the crime to four people before he was arrested.

    Echols also had a history of psychiatric treatment. His reported actions included brutally killing a dog, starting fires at his school, threatening to kill his teachers and parents and stating he liked to drink blood.

    • Fishmonger Dave

      I’m simply astounded that there are still people out there who believe the WM3 are guilty.

      They cite Jessie’s statements. Take the time and READ THEM. They are ridiculous at best – http://www.dpdlaw.com/jmstatements.htm . Only someone with an IQ lower than Jessie’s could possibly cite these as a basis to believe in guilt. They’re internally inconsistent and don’t align with ANY of the physical evidence – not one piece.

      They cite Damien’s psych issues, as if this substituted for evidence. There was not a single hair, fingerprint, footprint, drop of blood, or strand of DNA that linked back to the WM3. In spite of Damien having shoulder length black hair and always wearing Army boots, which leave a somewhat distinctive print.

      Asserting that the WM3 are guilty does nothing more than make you look foolish.

      Even the victims’ families (with the exception of the Moores, who refused to meet with the investigators in 2007) have seen the truth. The WM3 aren’t guilty. Hobbs most probably is.

  • West Memphis Three Evidence

    Many people believe the WM3 were not innocent but guilty as charged and that they were the ones that committed the crime. They were found guilty by a unanimous jury the first time. They plead guilty instead of waiting for a trial the second time.

    Two of the new “witnesses” against Hobbs are fourth-hand statements. They claim that Michael Hobbs told them something, which Michael Hobbs heard from his father, which he heard from someone else.

    The DNA found at the scene of the crime of the three murdered boys that was supposedly from Hobbs was from a hair that could have come from simple contact with one of the victims. The hair could have belonged to 1.5 percent of the population (or several million people).

    The evidence against Hobbs is very weak. The evidence and the many confessions against the WM3 is much stronger.

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  • Fishmonger Dave

    I’m simply astounded that there are still people out there who believe the WM3 are guilty.

    They cite Jessie’s statements. Take the time and READ THEM. They are ridiculous at best – they’re online at dpdlaw (dot) com/jmstatements.htm . Only someone with an IQ lower than Jessie’s could possibly cite these as a basis to believe in guilt. They’re internally inconsistent and don’t align with ANY of the physical evidence – not one piece.

    They cite Damien’s psych issues, as if this substituted for evidence. There was not a single hair, fingerprint, footprint, drop of blood, or strand of DNA that linked back to the WM3. In spite of Damien having shoulder length black hair and always wearing Army boots, which leave a somewhat distinctive print.

    Asserting that the WM3 are guilty does nothing more than make you look foolish.

    Even the victims’ families (with the exception of the Moores, who refused to meet with the investigators in 2007) have seen the truth. The WM3 aren’t guilty. Hobbs most probably is.

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