West of Memphis, director Amy Berg’s chronicle of the effort to exonerate the West Memphis Three, was acquired today by Sony Pictures Classics in a deal for the global distribution rights.
Produced by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, the film focuses a great deal on Lorri Davis, the wife of Damien Echols, who was sentenced to death for the 1993 murder of three young boys in Arkansas, and was released last year after 19 years in jail, along with Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr. (who were serving life sentences for the crime). “We are excited and quite frankly overwhelmed at the chance to tell our own story,” Davis and Echols, who are also producers of West of Memphis, said in a statement about the acquisition. “Working with Fran, Peter and Amy has been the most powerful and fulfilling of experiences for us. We see this film as a source of inspiration, and it carries our heart and soul with it.”
The film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival to strong reviews, including EW’s Owen Gleiberman, who said the film “casts a hypnotic dark spell.”
No release date has been set yet.
Peter Jackson, Damien Echols, and Amy Berg on ‘West of Memphis’ — VIDEO
Sundance review: Even if you’ve seen all three ‘Paradise Lost’ films, ‘West of Memphis’ casts its own dark spell
Peter Jackson talks about his innocence project: ‘West of Memphis’