Props to Colin Firth. After mulling his options and ultimately passing on Park Chan-wook's STOKER and Spike Lee's OLDBOY, last year's Best Actor Oscar winner has chosen to lend his talents to a project that really, truly means something.
According to Deadline, Firth (above) has joined Reese Witherspoon (below) in THE DEVIL'S KNOT, which you may recall traces the incredibly compelling case of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Miskelly...otherwise known as The West Memphis 3. The three boys were wrongly accused and ultimately convicted of brutally murdering three 8 year old boys in 1993, and, as a result of new evidence coming to light (and a new judge assigned to the case), were released this past August after 18 years in an Arkansas state penitentiary.
In the film (directed by Atom Egoyan), 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.
For those who have not seen the documentary trilogy PARADISE LOST, the last of which aired this year on HBO, I highly recommend doing so. Peter Jackson's WEST OF MEMPHIS doc is supposed to be just as compelling, maybe even more so, and I for one cannot wait to see that film as well. The West Memphis 3 case is one worth rallying behind, I'm glad Firth feels the same way.