Johnny Depp To Produce Film Based On Upcoming Memoir Damien Echols Of The West Memphis Three

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by Kevin Jagernauth
February 7, 2012 2:44 PM
8 Comments
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The West Memphis Three are now officially a trend. With the trio of wrongly convicted boys now free (though still yet to be fully exonerated for the crimes they were accused of), it seems there's going to be no slowdown of documentaries and feature films about them. Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky wrapped up their decades-long work with "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" which hit HBO last month, while producer Peter Jackson and director Amy Berg hit Sundance with their comprehensive overview of the case in "West Of Memphis." Atom Egoyan is currently gearing up "The Devil's Knot" with Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth and now another movie is on the way with one of the biggest movie stars on the planet behind it.

Johnny Depp's Infinitum Nihil shingle has snapped up the rights to Damien Echols' forthcoming memoir, set to be published this spring. Echols and his wife Lorri Davis will serve as producers on the project (they also acted in that capacity on "West Of Memphis") in the tale that will span his incarceration at the age of 18 up until his release in his mid-30s. Depp has long been one of many of the celebrity supporters of the West Memphis Three, so his involvement here is hardly schocking.

And while we're glad Hollywood types are using their powers to champion and raise awareness for a cause that deserves attention, we're already feeling a bit of fatigue. If the films help get more pressure on the Arkansas district attourney to fully exonerate these boys, then great, but we can't say we're overly eager for yet another journey through this story. But if anything, these projects will keep the case in the public consciousness, and perhaps on that level alone, they are worth pursuing until justice is fully served. [Deadline]

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8 Comments

  • Chappers | February 9, 2012 7:17 AMReply

    It's an unpleasant, and deeply compelling case. It has polarised opinion internationally. It points to deep flaws in the entire legal system of the United States, and the psyche of the American people.

    Every aspect of the evidence (except the latest developments that may be waiting in the wings) has been discussed extensively, so do not take anyone's word on it, and do not take anyone's 'summary' of the case seriously - this is too big, too complex to ever condense into a paragraph or two. Watch Paradise Lost 1 - if you are not gripped by the end of that film, forget the whole thing. If you feel anything about the case after watching it, do what Susan suggests: go to callahan8k.com (a huge collection of the court transcripts and other evidence), go to wm3truth.org (a forum for those who believe the convicted 3 are guilty), but also go to wm3blackboard.com (a site in support of the convicted 3, created by the father of one of the murdered children), and all the other sites that are out there. Watch the other two Paradise Lost movies, watch the 'True Crime' episode, the interviews, the articles....there is so much to know about this case, and so much that has to change because of it.

    Above all else....MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND.

  • Al Rosenberg | February 8, 2012 10:32 PMReply

    So if a friend of mine and I wearing rubber suits, gloves and boots come and kill your children on a plastic sheet, then leave after hosing down the crime scene, taking the sheet with us and disposing of the evidence, then my friend confesses to the police, you would say Im innocent, because my DNA was not found at the crime scene? Even if my alibi proved false? Even if I blurted it out in front of several people that I did it? Even if I was seen by several people wearing a rubber suit near the scene of the crime near the time of the murders?

    No DNA means no crime? Lack of DNA evidence (circumstantial evidence) beats my friend's confession, the sightings of me at the scene and my blurting it out in front of people (Direct eyewitness evidence)?

    So by the standards of the supporters, if one of your hairs was found on the shoelace of one of your children that I murdered, YOU would be charged with the crime. Now that would be a real witchhunt wouldnt it? - unlike the trials of the wm3.

  • susan | February 8, 2012 1:21 PMReply

    Please read up on this case at callahan8k.com and wm3truth.com before you waste your money on a fairtale movie or book. These three committed the crime back in '93 and 18 years later are being put forth as "folk heros." Bad enough they're out of prison. They are now asking us all to believe they are the true victims. The victims in this case are Stevie, Michael and Chris. Damien, Jessie and Jason will never be exhonerated because their guilt is a reality.

  • priscilla johnson | February 10, 2012 9:52 PM

    please educate yourself susan.the police wanted to find someone,anyone to put this on so they didnt look bad.it was a witch hunt.they were poor boys who wore black clothng.WEST MEMPHIS FREED! :)

  • EM Waverider | February 8, 2012 1:04 AMReply

    I say let it ride. This case has been building momentum in favor of Damien, Jason and Jesse since the first Paradise Lost film drew attention to the case. Now, 18 years later there's still no DNA linking them to the crime, the victims...any of it. I say go until their names are clear and there are still many more of us who will do what we can until that happens.

  • West Memphis Three | February 8, 2012 12:20 AMReply

    Many people believe the WM3 were not innocent but guilty as charged and that they were the ones that committed the crime. They were found guilty by a unanimous jury the first time. They plead guilty instead of waiting for a trial the second time.

    Will they tell the truth about Echols' history?


    Echols had a history of psychiatric treatment and psychotic behavior. His reported actions included brutally killing a dog, starting fires at his school, threatening to kill his teachers and parents and stating he liked to drink blood.

    Echols' stated under cross-examination that he was interested in the occult. A funeral register found in his room with hand-drawn pentagrams and upside-down crosses. Echols' journal contained morbid images and references to dead children.

    There is also a police report about Damien Echols stomping and killing a dog.

    Information on Echols' psychiatric records in Exhibit 500, presented to the court. This is available at callahan 8k and summarized at wm3truth(dot)com

  • jingmei | February 7, 2012 9:08 PMReply

    Fairly enough, especially the last paragraph.

  • Gloria | February 7, 2012 4:47 PMReply

    Longing & praying for the day that there is ... Justice for all SIX victims ... Stevie, Christopher, Michael, Jessie, Jason, & Damien. Lord, let it be so.

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