Johnny Depp Joins the West Memphis Three

[caption id="attachment_50530" align="alignleft" width="220" caption="Getty Images"]Johnny Depp[/caption]

If you think your past year has been crazy, trust us, you've got nothing on Damien Echols.

After spending nearly 19 years on death row, Echols was released last fall, in part due to the ongoing efforts of celebrities like Peter Jackson and Eddie Vedder, who staunchly believed that Echols was innocent of the charges. That gave him just enough time to hightail it to Sundance to see the premiere of Jackson's acclaimed new documentary about Echols, "West of Memphis" last month.

And now? Well, according to Deadline the rights to the film version of his upcoming memoir have been scooped up no less than Johnny Depp before the book has even been written. Whew.

The story of Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr. has been pretty well documented over the past two decades, but it's worth going over again. Dubbed the West Memphis Three by the press, Echols and the others were convicted of the heinous murders of three young boys back in 1994. But many people, non-celebrities included, felt that the trial was a sham of a mockery of a sham and for the past 19 years, and a concerted effort has been made not only to free the trio but also try and track down the true killers.

So will Depp play Echols in the film adaptation? Nothing is certain, but it seems likely, as Echols does bear a slight resemblance to Depp, if only because his eyes have been damaged so much by years of solitary confinement that he's forced to wear sunglasses at all times.

Either way, though, one thing is for sure: Having Johnny Depp make a movie out of your book is a whole hell of a lot better than being stuck on death row.