Stephen Moyer, known best for his role as the Louisiana vamp Bill Compton in "True Blood," is about to play an entirely sort of Southerner. He's signed on to for the role of prosecutor John Fogleman in Atom Egoyan's adaptation of Mara Leveritt's non-fiction book "Devil's Knot: The True Story Of The West Memphis Three."
As one of the lawyers who worked to get Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley (aka the West Memphis Three) convicted of the murder of three young boys based on on shoddy evidence, from a bad confession by Jessie Misskelley, Jr. to Damien Echols' taste in clothes and music, it's a thankless role for Moyer. Perhaps it will give him a chance to flex his dramatic chops, instead of the fangy, shirtless ones.
"The Devil's Knot" will reportedly begin filming "immediately" to accommodate Moyer's "True Blood" schedule. Moyer joins newcomer James Hamrick as Echols, Reese Witherspoon as mother Pam Hobbs, Mireille Enos as mother and key witness Vicki Hutcheson, and Colin Firth as private investigator Ron Lax, who began unraveling the case with DNA of father Terry Hobbs (Alessandro Nivola). Witherspoon has already been spotted filming in Georgia.
The documentaries on the West Memphis Three by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky are great starting points for those interested in the case. (It should be noted that there is a lot of intense footage that could be hard for some viewers.) The first one, "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills," incidentally began to unravel Fogleman's case against the three; the second zeroes in one of the suspects who still roamed free, and the third was in the final stages production when the three men were released with an Alford plea. As NPR describes, "an unusual legal maneuver called an Alford plea, allowed them to plead guilty to lesser charges, while asserting their innocence and getting released for time served."
There is also another documentary about the case coming out this December called "West of Memphis," directed by Amy Berg. WM3 supporter Peter Jackson and Echols, and Echols' wife Lorri Davis are all producers.