Colin Firth Joins Reese Witherspoon In Atom Egoyan's West Memphis 3 Drama

There’s no shortage of films documenting the injustices faced by the men now collectively known as the West Memphis 3. Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky dissected the court case in their blistering Paradise Lost documentaries. Peter Jackson picked up the pieces and continued the story in West of Memphis, a doc he produced that recently played the Sundance Film Festival. And now comes the glossy Hollywood treatment, which, at the very least, is going out of its way to attract an A-list cast of Oscar winners.

Atom Egoyan’s Devil’s Knot, a drama that already had cast Reese Witherspoon, has added The King’s Speech star Colin Firth in a leading role. Deadline says he’ll play Ron Lax, a Memphis private investigator who gets credit for being one of the first to side with convicted murderers Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr.

It was Lax’s continued investigation into the case that found DNA evidence suggesting the involvement of Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of Steven Branch, one of the children reportedly murdered by the Wets Memphis 3. Witherspoon is set to play Pam Hobbs, Steven’s mother, who lobbied against the WM3 but eventually changed her mind and believed them to be wrongfully jailed.

Filming on Devil’s Knot begins next summer in Louisiana, and Deadline claims that other big names will be announced in the coming weeks. I suppose this version of the story was inevitable, though adding Firth and Witherspoon ensures that the production is in good hands. Any feature that continues to shine light on this extremely murky case is appreciated. Just be sure to catch up on the excellent docs that already exist before you let Knot unravel the twisty details.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.