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Atom Egoyan finally finds his Damien Echols for The Devil's Knot

06.14.2012by: Jake Dee

Finally, Damien Echols has been found!

In our third casting article in two days regarding Atom Egoyan's THE DEVIL'S KNOT, perhaps the most important role of all has finally been filled.

According to Variety, newcomer James Hamrick (seen right) will play Echols, the most outspoken and most persecuted defendant in the West Memphis 3 case. He'll join onscreen defendants Kristopher Higgins as Jessie Misskelly and Justin Castor as Jason Baldwin.

Hamrick, a drama student at Nebraska Wesleyan University, beat out dozens better known Hollywood actors all vying for the key role. A smart move in my opinion, the last thing you want is to distract from the oh so important story by casting some ab-washed derelict. Thus the casting of relative unknowns Higgins and Castor as well.

But for support, Colin Firth will play Ron Lax, a private investigator who was the first pro bono supporter of the defendants as they headed to trial in 1993. Lax built one of the most prominent private investigative firms in the Southeast, and offered his services for free to the defendants, who at the time were reviled because of the heinous nature of the crime and the sensationalized reports about devil worship and ritualistic sacrifice.

Mireille Enos will play Vicki Hutcheson, the mother of an 8-year-old boy who lives in a run-down house in West Memphis. She becomes an important witness in the murder trial of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley for the killing of three 8-year-old boys found hog-tied in a drainage ditch. Hutcheson, it becomes apparent to investigators, could be the only link between Echols and Misskelley.

Alessandro Nivola will play Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of one of the young victims. It’s a pivotal role in the film; Hobbs is a controversial figure who has consistently denied any role in the murders but has come under suspicion in the 20 years since the crime was committed. He has never been charged and evidence against him is inconclusive. His relationship with his wife Pam Hobbs (Reese Witherspoon) forms the backbone of the story.

Seems like a worthy watch, ay?

Extra Tidbit: Hamrick looks just like Echols as a teen!
Source: Variety

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