And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!
The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe.
Edgar Allen Poe may not have realised that his dark mediation first published in 1845 would continue to linger in the mind of the public almost three centuries latter.
In cinematic terms the stories of Poe were perfectly captured on screen during the Sixties when director Roger Corman perfectly cast horror master Vincent Price in several stylishly envisioned adaptations based on the writer’s most famous yarns.
The period also saw Corman and Price take direct inspiration from the infamous poem to produce the comedy spoof The Raven (1963) with a cast that included fellow veterans Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff alongside a fresh faced Jack Nicholson
Several decades latter director Mike McTeigue, best known for V for Vendetta (2006), and actor John Cusack, have teamed up to provide a new spin on the writings of Poe as the scribe himself is cast in a fictional murder thriller that witnesses the author take to the streets of the 1840s to investigate several murders seemingly inspired by his own work.
Our first glimpse of the film seems to indicate that Cusack certainly looks the part as the troubled writer and seems determined to bring some gravitas to proceedings whilst this fictional yarn witnesses Poe working closely with the aptly named policeman, Detective Emmett Fields, as portrayed by Luke Evans.
The trailer also indicates that the film has been beautifully shoot as a period piece and is constantly cast in shadow whilst slightly devoid in colour thus giving events a slightly gothic tone that is in keeping with the stories penned by the author himself.
The movie also visually seems in tune with Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes (2009) whilst the period piece setting also recalls other stylishly rendered horror productions such as Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow (2001) and more notably From Hell (2000).
Cusack and Evans will also share the screen with established favourite Brendan Gleeson and actress Alice Eve cast as the writer’s doomed true life love Emily.
Will this stylish thriller be destined to the same fate as the doomed souls found in Poe’s writing or meet with critical acclaim from a modern audience?
Judge for yourself as the trailer may be seen here.
The Raven is scheduled for release in March 2012.