There 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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