It’s been an interesting road for Reese Witherspoon post-Oscar. The award tends to suggest importance, but Witherspoon is best known for her light comic performances, and she’s appeared in an number that haven’t found their audience. Perhaps it’s best that she start making more serious dramas, so it’s smart she’s signed on for Atom Egoyan’s Devil’s Knot, which looks to dramatize the events of the West Memphis 3, according to Variety.

The West Memphis Three have been in the news a lot lately because they were just released from jail after having their appeals funded by filmmaker Peter Jackson. Their case was first taken up by documentarians Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky in the film Paradise Lost – which has had two sequels – detailing the triple homicide that sent three heavy-metal-loving boys to jail for eighteen years.

In the film – and it’s sequels – there is a case made that Terry Hobbs was the actual murderer, and Witherspoon’s role would be as his wife. That’s a juicy, juicy part, and it sounds like the fulcrum of the film as she changes her mind on who the killer or killers are. Director Egoyan spent much of the 1990′s as an indie darling, with the Canadian filmmaker receiving awards and praise for films like Exotica and The Sweet Hereafter. He has fallen out of favor in recent years, though his film Chloe – with Amanda Seyfried and Julianne Moore – got a theatrical release and some curiousity for its well-publicized nudity.

Were you following the West Memphis Three case?