By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood June 26, 2011 at 1:23AM
Until this first-look photo, it was difficult to imagine John Cusack, likeable and attractive, as the mysterious and macabre Edgar Allen Poe. But in the upcoming The Raven (Relativity, March 12, 2012), loosely inspired by Poe's life, Cusack looks craggy-faced and alarming as the American gothic literary genius. The film is shooting in Serbia for Baltimore circa 1846; Luke Evans (Tamara Drewe), Alice Eve (She's Out of My League and Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges) co-star.
Directed by James McTeigue (V For Vendetta), the film takes cues from both the titular poem and David Fincher's Se7en; Poe hunts for a serial killer, whose brutal killings draw their inspiration from his own poems and stories.
It's no surprise if you've read his dark tales that Poe was a troubled and tormented author. Details of his life are certainly cinematic—in dramatic tragic hero fashion, the causes of Poe's death were heavily debated at the time; many people claimed to have seen him long after he died. The Raven, of course, will posit its own resolution in a film that blends and blurs fiction and reality.
[Photo by Larry Horricks.]