Atom Egoyan to Direct Movie Based on ‘West Memphis Three’

The Weinstein Co.'s Dimension Films has been developing the project since 2006

Atom Egoyan, the Egyptian-born director, plans to start shooting a movie based on convicted murderers the "West Memphis Three" – the subjects of the 1996 documentary “Paradise Lost” – in early spring 2012, TheWrap has confirmed.

As TheWrap reported Friday morning, The Weinstein Co.’s Dimension Films has been developing the project for years.

But on Friday, the story got an ending when a judge ordered the three men released from prison.

Also read: 'West Memphis Three' Killers Freed After 18 Years

Dimension acquired the rights to journalist Mara Leveritt's book “Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three” in 2006, and hired Scott Derrickson and Paul Harris Boardman to write the script.

Egoyan will direct the adaptation.

The West Memphis Three are Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr., who were convicted of killing three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis, Ark., in 1993.

Their guilt has been questioned ever since.

Also read: 'Paradise Lost' Filmmaker: 'West Memphis Three' Deserve Full Exoneration

Filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky made three documentaries about irregularities in the case. The third, HBO’s “Paradise Lost: Purgatory,” is scheduled to be released this January.

In addition to securing the rights to the book, Dimension has acquired Leveritt's life rights and private investogator Ron Lax's life rights. Lax has worked pro bono for the three men for years.

Richard Saperstein, Elizabeth Fowler, Boardman and Clark Peterson will produce Dimension's movie.

There are no other attachments yet.

On Friday — the day the three men were released from prison — Berlinger told TheWrap that they deserve full exoneration.