Scott Derrickson and the West Memphis Three

A couple weeks ago I mentioned that Scott Derrickson is working on a film adaptation of John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost. Now he’s adapting another story with that title — sort of. reports that Derrickson and co-writer Paul Harris Boardman are now adapting Mara Leveritt‘s book Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three, which concerns the real-life murder of three boys and the imprisonment of three teenagers who were accused of the crime based on pretty flimsy evidence — a story that was previously told in the documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996), which I saw on the big screen way back in my student-newspaper days, and its sequel Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000), which I have not yet seen.

Between this and The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), it seems Derrickson has a thing for stories about controversial real-life court cases — especially those with an alleged occultic element!

And as if these two films weren’t enough, the IMDB says Derrickson is also attached to the sci-fi film Countdown, based on a short story by Richard Matheson (author of the stories that inspired The Incredible Shrinking Man, The Omega Man, What Dreams May Come, etc.)! Quite a full plate, he has.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).

  • RC

    this is very interesting to me…he is certainly one to follow…and especially worth following paradise lost.

    –RC of