Newbie distrib Image Entertainment nabbed distribution rights to Atom Egoyan’s crime thriller “Devil’s Knot,” which premiered last month at the Toronto Film Festival. Image, a division of Maryland-based RLJ Entertainment, plans to release the film next year in the second quarter.

“Devil’s Knot,” about the West Memphis Three killings, stars Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon. The filim, which received mostly mixed reviews at Toronto, is based on Mara Leveritt’s book “Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three.”

“Reese Witherspoon delivers a stellar, emotional performance, displaying her versatility by transforming herself as a vulnerable mother trying to make sense of her son’s death,” said Bill Bromiley, cheif acquisition officer for Image.

The film was written by Scott Derrickson and Paul Harris Boardman, who also produced alongside Elizabeth Fowler, Richard Saperstein, Clark Peterson and Christopher Woodrow of Worldview Entertainment.

The deal was negotiated by Mark Ward, Jess De Leo and Bromiley on behalf of RLJ Entertainment, and by CAA and WME on behalf of Worldview Entertainment and the filmmakers.