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  1. #1

    More Post-Release Movies About the Case in the Works

    There are at least two more movies about the case (not counting the newest installment of the Paradise Lost series) in the works. The first is another documentary, financed by Peter Jackson (this is the one on which Damien and Lori are getting "producer" credits and whose production was wrapping up during the Echols' recent trip to NZ) and directed by Amy Berg who is best known for her documentary about sexual abuses by Catholic priests, Deliver Us from Evil. The title of this film will be West of Memphis. I don't have a release date for this film, but it shouldn't be too far behind Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory. However, this will be in theatres, not on TV.

    The second is also a theatrical production, based on Mara Leveritt's book, Devil's Knot. The "working title" is Devil's Knot. It will be directed by Atom Egoyan, director of The Sweet Hereafter. A recent news story ( http://www.deadline.com/2011/12/rees...e-devils-knot/ ) just announced that Reese Witherspoon (Legally Blonde, Sweet Home Alabama and Water for Elephants to name a few) will play the part of Pam Hobbs. Again, I don't know when it will be at theatres, but it is in the works. Obviously, since the cast is just being picked, it has not been completed yet. My guess is it's at least a year away.

  2. #2
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    I might see "Devil's Knot" since Reese is my favorite actress, I think she would play the part quite well.

    I have not read "Devil's Knot" so I really don't know what it is about.

  3. #3
    Although a bit dated, it was a very well-researched book (written in 2002 or 2003) about the case. The author, Mara Leveritt, is a reporter for a Little Rock newspaper (the Arkansas Sun Democrat IIRC) and was "on the scene" so to speak from the beginning. The other book on the case, Blood of the Innocents, was more of a sensationalistic or tabloid treatment of the case whereas Devil's Knot is a serious look at the case. Ms. Leveritt is currently working on a sequel.

    This book only goes through the trials and the preliminary appeals. As I said, since it came out before the DNA testing was redone, it is a little dated, but well-researched and well worth the time to read. As long as one approaches Blood of the Innocents knowing its sensational nature, it's pretty good, too. I think the movie of the book Devil's Knot should be great. I'm really looking forward to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Compassionate Reader View Post
    Although a bit dated, it was a very well-researched book (written in 2002 or 2003) about the case. The author, Mara Leveritt, is a reporter for a Little Rock newspaper (the Arkansas Sun Democrat IIRC) and was "on the scene" so to speak from the beginning. The other book on the case, Blood of the Innocents, was more of a sensationalistic or tabloid treatment of the case whereas Devil's Knot is a serious look at the case. Ms. Leveritt is currently working on a sequel.

    This book only goes through the trials and the preliminary appeals. As I said, since it came out before the DNA testing was redone, it is a little dated, but well-researched and well worth the time to read. As long as one approaches Blood of the Innocents knowing its sensational nature, it's pretty good, too. I think the movie of the book Devil's Knot should be great. I'm really looking forward to it.
    So will the film start from the very beginning when the boys went missing up to the trials and hearings?

    Since this is a true story....... I hope they stick as close to the story as they can. (even if I don't agree with the outcome).

    How would the film be able to tell the whole story through the trials and hearings?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by iluvmua View Post
    So will the film start from the very beginning when the boys went missing up to the trials and hearings?

    Since this is a true story....... I hope they stick as close to the story as they can. (even if I don't agree with the outcome).

    How would the film be able to tell the whole story through the trials and hearings?
    The book chronicles the search, the beginning of the investigation, the focus on Damien and the trials. I haven't read it in a while, but I think it also discusses some of the early appeals. There is not a lot of "set up" in the book about the families. However, the director may take liberties and give a bit of exposition about the families of the victims and the families of the wrongfully-accused. I really don't know. I'm basing that last statement on my knowledge of films. Since the book doesn't cover the release of Damien, Jason and Jessie, I don't know if the film will. Likewise, the book was published before suspicion fell on TH. In the book, the primary suspect is JMB. I don't know how the film will handle it. It should be interesting, for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Compassionate Reader View Post
    The book chronicles the search, the beginning of the investigation, the focus on Damien and the trials. I haven't read it in a while, but I think it also discusses some of the early appeals. There is not a lot of "set up" in the book about the families. However, the director may take liberties and give a bit of exposition about the families of the victims and the families of the wrongfully-accused. I really don't know. I'm basing that last statement on my knowledge of films. Since the book doesn't cover the release of Damien, Jason and Jessie, I don't know if the film will. Likewise, the book was published before suspicion fell on TH. In the book, the primary suspect is JMB. I don't know how the film will handle it. It should be interesting, for sure.
    Even though I believe they are guilty. I will probably see this film since I love reading about true crime. Should be an interesting film.

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    Here is the IMDB page for Devil's Knot:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0804463/

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    What little I've gathered about Devil's Knot is that Reese Witherspoon is going to play Pam Hobbs. It has been years since I've read Devil's Knot but I don't really recall Mrs. Hobbs being prominent in the book, though she is memorable in Paradise Lost 1. Isn't she the one that is interviewed and says something about the WM3 looking like "punks?"

    I mostly remember Mrs. Byers from that film because of the way she forced eye contact with the interviewer and told what had been done to Chris. The way she said that...it was heartwrenching. It wasn't surprising to learn she died later. She probably died of a broken heart.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dysthymia View Post
    What little I've gathered about Devil's Knot is that Reese Witherspoon is going to play Pam Hobbs. It has been years since I've read Devil's Knot but I don't really recall Mrs. Hobbs being prominent in the book, though she is memorable in Paradise Lost 1. Isn't she the one that is interviewed and says something about the WM3 looking like "punks?"

    Yes, Reese Witherspoon has been chosen to portray Pam Hobbs. I'm not sure, but IMO, this means that the film maker is going to tell the story from Pam's perspective, unless he plans to get really big stars for some of the other roles, too. Again IMO, that would be interesting because she went from believing that the WMFree were guilty to believing that they are innocent. That makes for an interesting story, don't you think? We'll just have to wait and see what he does.

    I mostly remember Mrs. Byers from that film because of the way she forced eye contact with the interviewer and told what had been done to Chris. The way she said that...it was heartwrenching. It wasn't surprising to learn she died later. She probably died of a broken heart.
    I remember Melissa Byers in the documentaries, too. She said to the camera that she would send Jessie a skirt. Yes, she was vehement when she described the injuries to Chris. And, I agree with you - she died of a broken heart. I read something recently that said that medical personnel now believe that this is possible.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...911673752.html

  10. #10
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    It appears that the Hobbs have sold their 'Life Story Rights' to Dimension Films, a division of The Weinstein Company. It states that they may:

    to use, fictionalize, dramatize, adapt, transpose, change, simulate and portray the name, likeness (photographic or otherwise), voice, personality, personal experiences, incidents, situations and events of each of the individual Artist's lives which occurred on or before the effective date of this letter agreement (which portrayal may be in whole or in part);

    (iii) to use, fictionalize, dramatize, adapt and exploit any and all other rights of whatsoever nature owned or controlled by Owners relating to Artist, including, without limitation, photography, memoranda, letters, diaries and other personal effects.

    Go to page 104 of this document to find it.
    http://callahan.8k.com/hobbs_pasdar/hp_38/hp_38_5.pdf


    So, this really isn't going to portray a true story, but one that has been fictionalized and exploits the Hobbs life (even if non of it is true) as this document states.


  11. #11
    I have heard that Dimension sold the rights to another company. Yes, they have the right to use dramatic license to make the movie more appealing. However, if someone is misrepresented in the movie, they will have the right to sue for slander. I don't think that they will go too far afield from the truth in this movie.

    The other movie, West of Memphis, is a documentary, financed by Peter Jackson, that I understand will go even further into the story than Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory will. I'm looking forward to both, although I doubt any long-time followers of the case will learn much of anything new. However, we shall see. Maybe the release of these three films will blast the State of Arkansas out of its complacency and force them to reopen the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Compassionate Reader View Post
    I have heard that Dimension sold the rights to another company. Yes, they have the right to use dramatic license to make the movie more appealing. However, if someone is misrepresented in the movie, they will have the right to sue for slander. I don't think that they will go too far afield from the truth in this movie.
    I am really curious about this movie. Ms. Witherspoon is a huge star. I wonder who they'll find to be Mr. Byers? That casting call would be interesting to say the least.

  13. #13
    Over on the Blackboard we've been speculating. I think we're all curious as to who will get the roles and if Reese Witherspoon will be the only "big" name or if there will be others. Time will tell!

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    Reese Witherspoon is good casting for a young Pam Hobbs. Mr. Byers? Billy Bob Thornton springs to mind, but he might be a bit old at this stage to play Mark Byers as he was back in 93.

  15. #15
    He'd be fine for Mark in 2011, though. I just don't know how far they're going to take the story. The book upon which the movie is being based stops shortly after the convictions. I just don't know how much further than that they plan to go. If we're talking 1993, Billy Bob is a bit too old, I agree.

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