Damien Echols’ Upcoming West Memphis Three Book Optioned by Johnny Depp

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Damien Echols' Upcoming West Memphis Three Book Optioned by Johnny DeppThere are a lot of West Memphis Three projects currently under way, but considering this latest one is based on a book by Damien Echols (himself one of the WM3) and is being developed by Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil, we’d say it’s likely to garner the lion’s share of attention.

Per Deadline, Depp and his producing partner, Christi Dembrowski, have optioned film rights to a soon-to-be-published and as-yet-untitled book by Damien Echols, which reveals his experiences on death row after his wrongful conviction and subsequent wrongful 18-year imprisonment for the 1993 murder of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. The memoir will be published in September 2012 by Blue Rider Press, an imprint of Penguin Books.

The injustice of the West Memphis Three story drew badly needed support from the entertainment community’s Peter Jackson, Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines, Henry Rollins, and of course Depp. He and Dembrowski have long been wanting and waiting to explore this story and will develop the narrative as a feature film with Echols and his wife, Lorri Davis, executive producing. Their collective take is to spotlight the controversial conviction and imprisonment of the then 18-year-old who is now in his mid-30s and to present his life before conviction as well its twists and turns leading to release.

A documentary film produced in 1996, Paradise Lost, helped to shed light on the wrongful convictions, and an investigation provided critical information that finally helped the West Memphis Three achieve freedom in August 2011. That formed the basis of director Amy Berg’s upcoming 2012 feature documentary West of Memphis, produced by filmmaker Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh. Now Depp is cinematically involved with this option deal negotiated by UTA on behalf of Infinitum Nihil and by Henry Dunow at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Agency and Sylvie Rabineau at RWSG Literary on behalf of the author.

Look for more soon!

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  • BrownBeverley

    It’s a pity I still haven’t read it(( Really want to read the west memphis three, but I can’t find it. Is there any open source where I can download it?

  • G.D.

    Jesus, how many do we need? There are three Paradise Lost docs, there’s West of Memphis, there’s Atom Egoyan’s upcoming movie and now this? Give me a break.

  • kiddcapone

    I have proof they were innocent. In 1998 they were all…

    *For More Information about the West Memphis Three please visit: http://WWW.WM3.ORG*

    Where’s that dead horse again?

  • Vanvance1

    This is horror related? Maybe someone is just crushing on Depp.

    • Uncle Creepy

      Let’s see … horrific child murders, talk of satanists, killer still at large … yeah, something we’d cover.

      • Vanvance1

        Alright, fair enough. I hope Depp is playing a smill child who gets molested. The comedy value alone would make it worth watching.

    • The Woman In Black

      Granted, I do like Depp, but this is hardly the first story we’ve run on the WM3. http://www.dreadcentral.com/west-memphis-three

      True crime story with all the elements mentioned by Creepy? Yeah, it’s up our alley.

    • Sirand

      The West Memphis Three have been the subject of genre publications for the last twenty years, mainly because Damien Echols was a martyr for horror fans.