Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky were days away from putting the finishing touches on "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory," the third part of their trilogy of films on the West Memphis Three, when news of today's expected plea deal came down. They're in Jonesboro today of course. Here's betting they come up with a new title for the film.
UPDATE: @HBODocs is now tweeting that it will debut in Jan. 2012.
HBO currently has it scheduled to air in November 2011.
“We don’t want to come off arrogant or like we’re patting ourselves on the back," Berlinger told Deadline Hollywood when asked if his films were responsible with today's expected deal.
"This outcome is due to help from a lot of people. But Damien says in Paradise Lost 3 that he literally would have been dead if not for these films; he said his appeals were exhausted, nobody was coming to his defense and there would have been no funds to investigate new evidence that helped delay delivery of his death sentence. Bruce and I feel grateful to have served as the lucky stewards of a story that just had to be told. But we also believe the films kept these guys alive. Guys like Vedder and Depp funded this case because they saw Paradise Lost and were outraged.”
See video of Berlinger talking about how he and Sinofsky came to Arkansas thinking they were making a film about disaffected teens who'd committed a terrible crime in a panel discussion I moderated at this year's Little Rock Film Festival.
Deadline Hollywood also reports that legendary director Peter Jackson and his partner and producer Fran Walsh will reveal that they've been funding investigative and legal efforts for the West Memphis Three for years.
It will be interesting to see if the film project sources tell me they've been working on surfaces.