Peter Jackson announces ‘West of Memphis’ doc

Accused murderer Echols produces project

Peter Jackson and his Wingnut Films have announced completion of helmer-scribe Amy Berg’s “West of Memphis,” a docu about the West Memphis Three, who were jailed for murder and recently freed.

Damien Echols, one of the three, produced the film with his wife Lorri Davis. Jackson and Fran Walsh helped reinvigorate the case in 2005 when they funded a new probe into the conviction of Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelly Jr., who were teenagers at the time of the murders of three 8-year-old boys and spent 18 years in prison.

A statement from Jackson said the film reveals unknown forensic evidence surrounding the arrest and conviction of the three defendants.

The new evidence prompted the Arkansas Supreme Court to overturn previous denials of appeals and allowed for a new evidentiary hearing to procced.

“This film represents the trial these men didn’t have. With the support of Damien and Lorri, along with unprecedented access to those closest to the case, we were able to make a film that shows the inner workings of the defense — the investigation, research, and appeals process, in a way that has never been shown before,” said Berg.

The state of Arkansas struck an unusual plea deal with the Three, freeing them but requiring them to plead guilty, despite their assertion of innocence. The film examines how the State Prosecutor’s declaration that the case is closed leaves the men convicted of a crime they did not commit while the murder goes unsolved.

Jackson said he hoped further investigation would lead to finding the killer and exonerating the three defendants.

Music for the film was written by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. Exec producer Ken Kamins will conduct discussions with potential distributors. The West Memphis Three have also been covered in three “Paradise Lost” docus by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. The New York Times reported Sunday that there has been jostling for access to sources between the Jackson’s camp, the “Paradise Lost” filmmakers and others making films about the case.

More Film

  • Kazuhiro Tsuji Darkest Hour Makeup artist

    'Darkest Hour,' 'American Horror Story' Lead Make-up and Hair Stylists Guild Winners

    Peter Jackson and his Wingnut Films have announced completion of helmer-scribe Amy Berg’s “West of Memphis,” a docu about the West Memphis Three, who were jailed for murder and recently freed. Damien Echols, one of the three, produced the film with his wife Lorri Davis. Jackson and Fran Walsh helped reinvigorate the case in 2005 […]

  • Isle of Dogs

    The 10 Best Films of the 2018 Berlin Film Festival

    Peter Jackson and his Wingnut Films have announced completion of helmer-scribe Amy Berg’s “West of Memphis,” a docu about the West Memphis Three, who were jailed for murder and recently freed. Damien Echols, one of the three, produced the film with his wife Lorri Davis. Jackson and Fran Walsh helped reinvigorate the case in 2005 […]

  • Indian Actress Sridevi Kapoor Arrives For

    Legendary Bollywood Actress Sridevi Dies at 54

    Peter Jackson and his Wingnut Films have announced completion of helmer-scribe Amy Berg’s “West of Memphis,” a docu about the West Memphis Three, who were jailed for murder and recently freed. Damien Echols, one of the three, produced the film with his wife Lorri Davis. Jackson and Fran Walsh helped reinvigorate the case in 2005 […]

  • NMHC Impact Awards

    Aubrey Plaza, NHMC President Call Out Under-Representation of Latinos at Impact Awards

    Peter Jackson and his Wingnut Films have announced completion of helmer-scribe Amy Berg’s “West of Memphis,” a docu about the West Memphis Three, who were jailed for murder and recently freed. Damien Echols, one of the three, produced the film with his wife Lorri Davis. Jackson and Fran Walsh helped reinvigorate the case in 2005 […]

  • Emma Chambers'HOW DO YOU WANT ME'

    'Notting Hill' Actress Emma Chambers Dies at 53

    Peter Jackson and his Wingnut Films have announced completion of helmer-scribe Amy Berg’s “West of Memphis,” a docu about the West Memphis Three, who were jailed for murder and recently freed. Damien Echols, one of the three, produced the film with his wife Lorri Davis. Jackson and Fran Walsh helped reinvigorate the case in 2005 […]

  • Las herederas The Heiresses

    Berlin Double Silver Bear Winner 'The Heiresses' Sells Major Territories (EXCLUSIVE)

    Peter Jackson and his Wingnut Films have announced completion of helmer-scribe Amy Berg’s “West of Memphis,” a docu about the West Memphis Three, who were jailed for murder and recently freed. Damien Echols, one of the three, produced the film with his wife Lorri Davis. Jackson and Fran Walsh helped reinvigorate the case in 2005 […]

  • Touch Me Not

    Berlin Festival Awards: 'Touch Me Not' Wins Golden Bear for Best Film

    Peter Jackson and his Wingnut Films have announced completion of helmer-scribe Amy Berg’s “West of Memphis,” a docu about the West Memphis Three, who were jailed for murder and recently freed. Damien Echols, one of the three, produced the film with his wife Lorri Davis. Jackson and Fran Walsh helped reinvigorate the case in 2005 […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content