By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist October 13, 2010 at 12:35PM
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore." For an author that most contemporary readers don't rush out to read, one look at IMDB will tell you that adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe's work haven't stopped; though high-profile films do seem to be in shorter supply. The most notable was probably the Josh Lucas thriller "Tell-Tale," but even that essentially disappeared without a trace. Quoth the raven: "So my pal Ed ain't been that active in the movies since Vince Price died. But hey, at least Sylvester Stallone never did that biopic. Am I right, or am I right?"
But for a while now, "V For Vendetta" helmer James McTeigue has been gearing up to direct "The Raven," a serial killer thriller which features Poe teaming up with a detective to track down a killer who mimics his work, in the last week of the writer's life. John Cusack signed on as Poe at the end of August, allegedly beating out Joaquin Phoenix and Ewan McGregor for the role, and, while Jeremy Renner was widely expected to play the detective, his deal never closed. Instead, Deadline reported last night that rising British actor, and star of "Tamara Drewe," Luke Evans, will take on the role, fresh off two currently filming high-profile projects, Tarsem's "Immortals" and Paul W.S. Anderson's "The Three Musketeers." Quoth the raven: "Tamara Drewe? You mean the broad with the short shorts? Is she gonna be in the movie? Man, that would just make my day. Luke who? Oh. You've got to speak up, kid, this line ain't so good."
Heat Vision also report that Cusack and Evans could be joined by Alice Eve, who's in negotiations for the role of Poe's fiancee, who is kidnapped by the killer. Eve took a big step towards the A-list this year with "She's Out Of My League," and allegedly turned down the role of Emma Frost in "X-Men: First Class," as well as being in contention for the love interest in "Captain America." Instead, she filmed the British rom-com "The Decoy Bride," and last week joined Josh Peck and Brian Geraghty in the enclosed-space thriller "ATM." Quoth the raven: "Now this is a casting choice I can get behind. Know what I mean? Hehe. She's out of my league? You don't know shit, kid, I'm a 200 year old bird, ain't nobody in my league."
While both the new additions have yet to make a strong impression on screen, we've seen them both on stage in London (Eve in Tom Stoppard's "Rock & Roll," Evans in "Piaf" at the Donmar Warehouse), and they're both fine actors. McTiegue's shown some promise (although massively squandered it on "Ninja Assassin") and if the material's strong enough, and the Cusack we know and love manages to escape from Paycheck, Michigan, where he's been residing for most of the last few years, this could be an enjoyably gothic thriller. Filming kicks off November 9th in Budapest and Serbia. Quoth the raven: "Look, kid, my last job was crawling out of Josh Brolin's mouth in "Jonah Hex." If they're gonna put my name in the title, and fly me to Eastern Europe club class, I'll do the gig. Unless Alfonso Cuaron calls me back about being the lady astronaut in "Gravity.""