The official trailer for The Devil’s Knot was released last week. Check it out at the bottom of the post! Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon star in the drama, which relates the true story of three teens—Jason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley, Jr. and Damien Echols—who were wrongly convicted of killing three eight-year-old children.
Based on the 2002 true crime book, Devil’s Knot: the True Story of the West Memphis Three, the film explores events that unfolded after the murder from the point of view of the victims’ parents, then digs deeper into the lives of the teens who convicted of the crime. Witherspoon plays the mother of one of the murdered boys, and Firth portrays a private investigator with serious doubts about the teens’ guilt.
The story received a tremendous amount of press coverage in 1993, but the crime was shrouded in controversy. Law enforcement officials in the small Bible Belt town of West Memphis, Ark. thought it was part of a satanic ritual and quickly focused the investigation on three teenaged outcasts, who were convicted despite a lack of evidence. Following a lengthy legal battle, they were released in 2011 after entering Alford pleas (i.e., pleas in which a defendant asserts his innocence while admitting that the evidence would likely persuade a judge or jury to convict).
Filmmakers have created several documentaries about the case, but The Devil’s Knot will be the first feature film about the murders.
Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan, known for 2009’s Chloe, directed the film. Paul Harris Boardman, author of several horror flicks, including this year’s Deliver Us From Evil, wrote the script with Scott Derrickson. Stephen Moyer, Mireille Enos, Amy Ryan, Dane DeHaan, Michael Gladis, Bruce Greenwood and Alessandro Nivola round out the cast.
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