Though it exists on the fringes of the genre as based in real-life horror, THE DEVIL’S KNOT is likely to resonate with fans as much as the PARADISE LOST documentary trilogy that came before it. Both films tell the story of the West Memphis 3, a trio of Arkansas teenagers who evidence suggest were wrongfully convicted of murdering three children in a satanic ritual.
Now, West Memphis 3’s Damien Echols is coming forward to announce his falling out with friend and fellow accused Jason Baldwin over THE DEVIL’S KNOT. In a blog about the Echols’s autobiography, LIFE AFTER DEATH, he writes: "After our release from prison, Jason and I had a disagreement over how I was to be portrayed in the film Devil’s Knot. The movie unfortunately has driven a wedge between us, but I will always respect Jason and love him as a friend."
Echols also went on to praise Jason regarding his cooperation with the Alford Plea, which forced each of the trio to confess to the crime they were convicted for in order to be released: "I believe Jason was selfless in his decision to go along with the Alford plea that freed us, and I understand how difficult this decision was for him. For that, I will be forever grateful. My intention was not to hurt anyone, but to write honestly about my struggle."
Based off the book by Mara Leveritt, the Atom Egoyan directed film has a top notch cast which includes Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Stephen Moyer, Bruce Greenwood, Kevin Durand and Amy Ryan. With that sort of talent and a painfully true story to tell, THE DEVIL’S KNOT could resonate enormously with audiences. But if Echols himself is speaking out against his portrayal it could bring into question the film’s treatment of their story, questioning its integrity.
No official release date has been announced, but THE DEVIL’S KNOT should be released sometime next year. It will be preceded by another documentary on the subject, WEST OF MEMPHIS. That film, directed by Amy Berg and produced by Peter Jackson, will see release December 28th.