Friday, October 7, 2011

Speaking of Edgar Allan...

Well, here's a timely arrival: The first trailer for James McTeigue's The Raven is now online.  The story takes place in 1840s Baltimore, where a series of grisly murders appears inspired by the works of local author Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack). Poe and a detective (Luke Evans) must team up to find the killer before he takes out the woman Poe loves.

There's an intriguing "I wish I'd thought of that" premise. I like John Cusack. The trailer suggests that the movie may splash the screen with a bit too much V for Vendetta or From Hell stylistics for my taste, and the story will almost certainly be conventionally three-act-thriller predictable beat by beat. And of course if I can't let go of my mental image of the real-life man and his history ("the woman Poe loves" was his 13-year-old cousin, fer Chrissakes), then I'll end up grinding my teeth to chalk before the big chase scene on script page 85. (As a film fictionalizing an historical writer, The Raven is at least guaranteed to be less irksome than Young Goethe In Love.) Nonetheless, the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes (which this film feels "inspired" by) pleasantly surprised me, and The Raven's trailer now has me curious. I'll look forward to this one with some cautious hope.

The Raven opens March 9, 2012. Apple has the trailer in HD.

Here’s the official synopsis:

In this gritty thriller, Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack, Being John Malkovich) joins forces with a young Baltimore detective (Luke Evans, Immortals) to hunt down a mad serial killer who’s using Poe’s own works as the basis in a string of brutal murders.
Directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin), the film also stars Alice Eve (Sex and the City 2), Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges) and Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Faster).
When a mother and daughter are found brutally murdered in 19th century Baltimore, Detective Emmett Fields (Luke Evans) makes a startling discovery: the crime resembles a fictional murder described in gory detail in the local newspaper—part of a collection of stories penned by struggling writer and social pariah Edgar Allan Poe. But even as Poe is questioned by police, another grisly murder occurs, also inspired by a popular Poe story.
Realizing a serial killer is on the loose using Poe's writings as the backdrop for his bloody rampage, Fields enlists the author’s help in stopping the attacks. But when it appears someone close to Poe may become the murderer’s next victim, the stakes become even higher and the inventor of the detective story calls on his own powers of deduction to try to solve the case before it's too late.
The movie's current IMDb listing adds that it's set in "the last day's of Edgar Allan Poe's life." If so, expect the peculiar circumstances of his death to a big part of Act 3.

Hat tip: Collider