Witherspoon Untangles Devil's Knot

For Atom Egoyan

No stranger to controversial subject matter, director Atom Egoyan stepped aboard Devil’s Knot, the dramatic interpretation of the West Memphis Three case back in August. Now he’s found the first of what promises to be a large ensemble cast: Reese Witherspoon.

Devil’s Knot is based on reporter Mara Levitt’s 2003 book, subtitled The True Story Of The West Memphis Three. In it, she followed the tangled, prolonged murder trial of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr, who served 17 years in prison before being released this past August. They were accused of killing three 8-year-old cub scouts found in a wooded area of Arkansas called Robin Hood Hills. While they’re now free, the judge didn’t allow them to seek compensation for the lost years.

Witherspoon will switch into drama mode to play Pam Hobbs, the mother of one of the victims who initially thought they were guilty but as the case dragged on, came to believe they were innocent.

With a script originated by Mark Sevi and then re-written by Scott Derrickson and Paul Harris Boardman, Egoyan plans to kick off shooting this coming summer.