Image Picks Up West Memphis Three Pic 'Devil's Knot'
UPDATED: Reese Witherspoon stars in Atom Egoyan's drama focusing on the teens charged with murdering three young boys in West Memphis, Ark.
Devil's Knot, the drama based on the true-life story of the West Memphis Three, has been acquired by Image Entertainment, the distributor announced Monday.
Directed by Atom Egoyan, Devil's Knot stars Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth and had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.
The film will open in at least the top 10 theatrical markets in the second quarter of 2014.
The Worldview Entertainment drama, loosely based on Mara Leveritt's 2002 nonfiction book about the infamous West Memphis Three case, stars Witherspoon as Pam Hobbs, the mother of Steve Branch, one of the three children savagely murdered in Arkansas in 1993. Alessandro Nivola plays Terry Hobbs, her husband and Steve’s stepfather. Amy Ryan, Mireille Enos and Stephen Moyer also star.
Scott Derrickson and Paul Harris Boardman wrote the script for the project, with Boardman also producing along with Richard Saperstein, Elizabeth Fowler, Clark Peterson and Christopher Woodrow of Worldview Entertainment.
The notorious case sparked national headlines when teenagers Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr. were convicted of murdering three young boys and sentenced to life in prison (Echols was sentenced to death). After new forensic evidence was put forth and the case became a cause celebre, the three were released after serving 18 years.
In The Hollywood Reporter's Toronto review, critic John DeFore said that the film "will bring this infuriating tale of injustice to many mainstream moviegoers for the first time; it has every hope of receiving a strong commercial reception and attracting even more attention to a horrifying crime whose perpetrator or perpetrators remain free."
Mark Ward, Jess De Leo and Bill Bromiley negotiated the deal on behalf of RLJ Entertainment, with CAA and WME on behalf of Worldview Entertainment and the filmmakers.