Last year Coming Soon spoke with James McTeigue (V For Vendetta) about his plans for an Edgar Allen Poe project – The Raven. Despite the title the film is not an adaptation of the classic poem. McTeigue explained, “There’s basically a serial killer loose in 1850’s Baltimore and he’s using Poe’s stories as his methodology, so then he leaves clues at each murder and says it’s up to Poe to find him before he kills (again).” Another comment he made indicated that the story is following Poe’s “last five days,” so it seems the film means to fill in the gaps on Poe’s mysterious death*.

Earlier this year, word was that both Jeremy Renner and Ewan McGregor had signed onto the film, though it was not specified what role either would play (their current status is unknown). Now John Cusack is reporting, via his Twitter feed that he is “officiali” playing the boozy prince of macabre literature.

While I’d much rather see a straight-up biopic on Poe, honestly I’m just
happy he isn’t fighting zombies or vampires or some other comic booky bullshit. V For Vendetta proved that McTeigue knew what he was doing. Then Ninja Assassin proved that he didn’t. So… I’m not sure what to think about the guy. But call me crazy, I like Cusack as Poe. A bit tall, but he’s got somewhat similar features and complexion, and acting-wise we know he’s got a lock on brooding, articulate, sarcastic, and grim.

Too bad they didn’t have phone booths back then. I wanna see a drunken and desperate Poe call Sarah Helen Whitman during a rainstorm after their engagement falls apart.

* Days before he died, Poe was found wandering the streets in a delirium and wearing someone else’s clothes. He was brought to the hospital but never became coherent enough to explain how he’d wound up in such a state. Supposedly, the night before he died, he repeatedly called out the name “Reynolds,” though no one could determine who he was referring to. And, as all his medical records were later lost, it is now unclear exactly what he died of.