McTeigue said: "I think up until this point, there's never been a Poe movie because of how Poe was…he was an opium addict and an alcoholic…but we wove these things into a film….you have to honor what the guy's life was, and know what his stories meant to him. He was the precursor to science fiction…to capture the essence of the movie you have to capture the authenticity of what the character was."
Cusack said of Poe: "He was a bit of a rockstar in his day. He had written [poem] The Raven and it went around the world," and while Poe didn't get any money from it, "he was famous." As for the women in Poe's life, Cusack says; "He did love the women he loved."
McTeigue defended Poe's notoriety and calls his relationship with women "Unique,..It's all conjecture, cause I wasn't there, [but] It seemed to me that he held females up to an almost [idealized standard]--he didn't like the company of men…he didn't like any men, he wanted to fight [every man he met]--but he loved being in the company of women, but not like a playboy,..he held them up, almost muse-like, as the perfect almost untouched female." McTeigue thinks it came from Poe loosing both is mother and his first wife to TB, and the subsequent yearning for and feeling abandoned by them. Women loved him right back: "they would swoon over him," said McTeigue. Cusack added: "[Poe] got invited to the White House. Got drunk. Got kicked out. Sort of a bad boy but not in an obvious sense,..[he was] sort of at home in the gutter..he was a crazy character."
Cusack was the target of most of the fan questions. A young man asked, "Is this gonna be the first movie where when I leave the theater the girl I'm with doesn't go 'I wish you were more like John Cusack'?" Cusack responded "No," to much laughter. Not the answer this fellow was hoping for.
By far the weirdest question of the day (not an easy label to earn) was a woman complimenting both Cusack and his sister Joan Cusack's talent, and then asking if there were any plans for them to marry and reproduce. Cusack was confused, didn't know "what the fuck" she was talking about, but confirmed: "No, I'm not marrying my sister. But I'd love to work with her again."
Next for McTeigue is FilmNation's Message for the King, from screenwriters Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell. But first, he's got to finish The Raven for its March 2012 release. Upcoming for Cusack, there's comedy Dictablanda (which he says is getting a new name; he also co-wrote it) as well as Lee Daniels' The Paperboy, co-starring Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron (based on Peter Dexter's novel).
Here's more about The Raven.
SYNOPSIS: 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.