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“Lord Of The Rings” Director Peter Jackson Producing New Documentary About West Memphis 3

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Posted on December 5, 2011 AT 09:49am

Walking in Memphis

Peter Jackson — who co-wrote and directed “The Lord Of The Rings” films and is currently working on “The Hobbit” — has announced that he and “L.O.T.R.” co-screenwriter Fran Walsh have co-produced a documentary about the West Memphis 3.

Dubbed “West Of Memphis,” the film chronicles the real-life case of teenagers Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, Jr., who were convicted in 1993 of murdering three boys. The case caught national attention after documentary filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky — who later made the music doc “Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster” — released the 1996 movie “Paradise Lost: The Child Murders At Robin Hood Hills,” which they followed with two sequels: 2000’s “Paradise Lost 2: Revelations” and this year’s “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory.”

Earlier this year, Echols, Baldwin, and Misskelley, Jr. were released from jail in a plea deal prompted by new DNA evidence.

“West Of Memphis” was being directed by “Deliver Us From Evil” director Amy J. Berg, and is co-produced by Echols and his wife Lorri Davis. It also features music by Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds bandmate Warren Ellis (not to be confused with the comic book writer), who previously collaborated on the soundtracks to 2007’s “The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford” and 2009’s “The Road.”

In the press release announcing that “West Of Memphis” had been completed, Jackson is quoted as saying, “Seven years ago, Fran and I began this journey with Damien and Lorri, having no idea where it would lead. We now realize, that journey is not over, that even though these men have been released from prison — they are not free. Our hope is that continuing evidence testing and further investigation will lead to the unmasking of the killer of these children and that one day Damien, Jason, and Jessie will be exonerated.”

The release also noted that the filmmakers are currently looking for a distribution deal for the film. So if you’ve got a bunch of money and know some people….

Paul Semel, Contributor
Paul has been writing about movies, music, video games, books, TV, toys, celebrities, and other fun stuff since the early-’90s. A regular contributor to EGM since 2004, he's also written for Entertainment Weekly, Bikini, Maxim, Raygun, Walmart GameCenter, Rides, and Emmy, among others. Please follow him on Twitter at @paulsemel. Or don't. Whatever.

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