Reese Witherspoon is set to land a serious role in a crime drama based on the West Memphis Three case called "Devil's Knot". The Oscar-winning actress has been attached to the true-story movie which is an adaptation of Mara Leveritt's investigative book "Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three".
The story follows the prolonged murder trial of defendants Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr. The three, known as the West Memphis Three, were accused of killing three 8-year-old boys in a wooded area known as Robin Hood Hills in Arkansas in 1994. After spending 18 years in prison, the West Memphis Three were finally released in August this year.
According to Variety, Witherspoon has been tapped to play Pam Hobbs, the mother of one of the victims. At first, Hobbs was convinced that Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley killed her son. As the case dragged on, however, she began to believe that the trio had never murder her son. In November 2007, Hobbs claimed that new evidence had eventually changed her mind.
The production of the under-$20 million movie is expected to begin in the summer of 2012. Critically acclaimed director Atom Egoyan is set to tackle the helming duty. Serving as the screenwriters, meanwhile, are Scott Derrickson and Paul Boardman.
The West Memphis Three case has attracted the interest of several filmmakers, including Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh who produce a documentary by Amy Berg called "West of Memphis". The film will be premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.