Colin Firth Joins Witherspoon in West Memphis 3 Film 'Devil's Knot'
Now that Amy Berg and Peter Jackson's comprehensive documentary West of Memphis has been seen by the Sundance crowd (read my review here), hot on its tails is the dramatization of the tragic injustice suffered by the West Memphis 3, a trio of teens wrongly incarcerated for 18 years after being convicted of the murder of three younger boys. Reese Witherspoon has agreed to star in Devil's Knot, based on Mara Leveritt's book of the same name, and now Colin Firth joins the film from Chloe director Atom Egoyan which has been adapted by The Exorcism of Emily Rose writers Scott Derrickson and Paul Boardman.
Deadline reports Firth will play Ron Lax, a private investigator who was the first pro bono supporter of the defendents as they headed into their first trial. The man is responsible is one of the foremost private investigators in the Arkansas area and offered his services for free at a time when the trio was hated for the supposedly heinous and cult nature of the murders, details which proved to be unfounded and completely inaccurate. In fact, it is Lax's work that helped lock down important DNA evidence making it hard for Terry Hobbs, the step-father of one of the victims, to avoid being held responsible for the murders, especially after recent witness testimony surfaced in West of Memphis.
Apparently there are some other big names being lined up for other roles, and considering how well Derrickson and Boardman blended a courtroom drama with the supernatural, this should be quite the legal drama. The film might seem like it's trying to cash in on the recent buzz around the West Memphis 3, but the film has been in the works for six years, well before the recent freeing of the imprisoned trio came to light. West of Memphis is quite the definitive telling of the story, but with a cast that includes Witherspoon and Firth, this should be quite the dramatization.
I feel like the story has already been told as well as it can be already, I don't see how an actual fiction version of the story will bring anything new to the table. I can't wait for West of Memphis!
Mikejones on Feb 1, 2012
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