Peter Jackson Makes 'West Memphis 3' Documentary, In Case We Needed Another
It was only a few months ago that "Paradise Lost 3," the final chapter in the landmark documentary series about the conviction and subsequent release of the West Memphis 3, screened at the New York Film Festival, and on Thursday night it premiered on HBO.
Yet apparently there is more drama to mine from this case, and "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson is diving into the game himself with "West of Memphis," a documentary he's been working on for more than seven years.
Damien Echols, the most outspoken member of the West Memphis 3, is onboard as a producer. Along with Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, the three men were convicted in the murder of three young children in 1994. They were released, with a major catch, on August 19, 2011.
The film will explore the history of the West Memphis 3 investigation, which Entertainment Weekly noted has been "quietly financed" by Jackson and his wife, Fran Walsh, who have been outspoken supporters of the West Memphis 3's innocence.
Whereas Bruce Sinofsky and Joe Berlinger's "Paradise Lost" series explored the case as it progressed, adding tidbits of new information and evidence as time went on, EW says that Jackson's film takes a look at "why they never should have been arrested in the first place."
The film will premiere at Sundance on January 20.
And seeing as the case also garnered the attention of Eddie Vedder, Johnny Depp, and many other celebrities over the years, one wonders who else might have a "West Memphis 3" documentary in the works. Perhaps Jackson's will just be one, long subliminal advertisement for "The Hobbit," his upcoming "Lord of the Rings" spin-off.
Either way, here's a trailer: