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Reese Witherspoon to Star in West Memphis Three Movie

Who knew that upon their release from prison, the West Memphis Three would become Hollywood's hottest new commodity? Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr., and Jason Baldwin were freed in August after serving eighteen years in prison on a wrongful conviction for child murder, and though they've already been the subjects of a vaunted three-documentary series directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, a controversial new documentary produced by Peter Jackson also recently completed production, and now director Atom Egoyan has landed an A-lister for his own scripted film on the subject: Reese Witherspoon. Variety reports that the Academy Award winner will play Pam Hobbs, mother to one of the murdered children. Witherspoon will next be seen in McG's action rom-com This Means War, but she just shot an indie drama with Take Shelter director Jeff Nichols, and between that and the Egoyan film, it looks like the Election star may be getting back to her risky roots.

Photo: Marianna Massey/2011 Getty Images