Yesterday, after 17 years in prison, the West Memphis 3 were released from prison. The three men, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin, were accused of the satanically-inspired murders of three young boys from Arkansas, and subsuently sentenced: Baldwin to life in prison, Misskellley to life plus 40 years and Echols to death. But in a surprise court hearing yesterday, called based on DNA evidence that failed to link the trio to the crime, the men were set free. And while their complicated legal battle is far from finished, their Hollywood treatment has already begun.
In what is either a very clever marketing ploy, or just a well-timed stroke of luck, news has surfaced that Adam Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter, Chloe) is directing a feature film about the controversial case titled Devil's Knot, based on a book by Mara Leveritt. The movie has been in the works since 2006, when writers Scott Derrickson and Paul Boardman (the duo who penned The Exorcism of Emily Rose) began creating the screenplay, but has recently been re-written with the help of Egoyan. The film has a $20 million dollar budget and will begin production this Spring.
Leave it to Hollywood to strike when the iron is hot.