Dimension Films has reached an agreement with Scott Derrickson and Paul Harris Boardman, the team behind the hit movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose, to write the screenplay for Devil's Knot, a film that will be based on the book of the same name written by Mara Leveritt and the actual events surrounding the 1993 murders in Arkansas of three 8-year-old boys and the subsequent convictions. Derrickson will also direct the project, which will be produced by Elizabeth Fowler, Paul Harris Boardman and Clark Peterson (Monster). Production is expected to begin towards the end of 2006.
Devil's Knot is the riveting story based on true events surrounding the brutal murder of three eight year-old boys in a small, rural and socially conservative town in Arkansas, which is plagued with corruption and violence. The story follows the trial of three teen suspects with alleged ties to satanic rituals who are ultimately convicted of the crime, in spite of the mishandling of the crime scene and forensic evidence.
"Our goal is to make a movie that is extremely engaging and is also an accurate portrayal of what really happened," said Boardman.
"This story is as fascinating as it is important, and we intend to respect it by staying true to the facts," said Derrickson.
Bob Weinstein, co-chairman of Dimension Films, stated, "Scott and Paul are incredibly talented filmmakers and I've been very impressed with the work they have done since I first worked with them. Their expertise in bringing true events to the big screen is an excellent match for this compelling real life story."
Elizabeth Fowler stated, "I am honored and thankful that there are filmmakers like Derrickson and Boardman who have the insight and sensibility to accurately portray the events that occurred. I am confident that the filmmakers will handle this project brilliantly and couldn't be happier about working with Dimension."
"This is one of the most compelling true stories I've ever encountered," said Clark Peterson. "The reality of what happened in West Memphis is truly astonishing."
Saperstein and Matthew Stein, senior vice president of production, will oversee the project on behalf of Dimension Films.