Jessie Misskelley Jr., one of the West Memphis Three, has come on to exec produce Atom Egoyan’s “Devil’s Knot,” which is set to star Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon.
Misskelley Jr. joins fellow West Memphis Three member Jason Baldwin and his longtime supporter-turned-girlfriend Holly Ballard as executive producers on the pic, which is being produced by Elizabeth Fowler, Clark Peterson, Richard Saperstein and Paul Harris Boardman, the latter of whom co-wrote the script with Scott Derrickson (“Sinister”).
“Devil’s Knot” follows private detective Ron Lax, who took on the West Memphis Three case pro bono. He found DNA evidence linking Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of one of the three murdered boys, to material that was used to bind one of the young victims. That evidence helped convince a judge to release Misskelley Jr., Baldwin and Damien Echols last year after the trio submitted an Alford Plea, which allowed them to plead guilty in exchange for release from prison for time served.
Misskelley Jr., who was initially sentenced to life in prison, is expected to consult throughout production of the picture, which is skedded to start this summer. Pic is based on journalist Mara Leveritt’s book “Devil’s Knot.”
Echols served as a producer on Amy Berg’s documentary “West of Memphis,” which Sony Pictures Classics will distribute.