‘The Raven’ to creep into theaters

Kathryn Brostowitz

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Edgar Alan Poe died in a Baltimore hospital on October 7, 1849. This year, Hollywood celebrated the anniversary of his death with the release of the trailer for a new movie “The Raven,” starring John Cusack.

No, “The Raven” is not a movie adaptation of one of Poe’s most famous poems, but a fictitious tale about the last few days of the storyteller’s life.

As the story goes, Edgar Allan Poe was found wandering around aimlessly on October 3, 1849. He died four days later.

Since those last few days of his life have always been a mystery, people have developed their own stories over the years about what happened.

“The Raven,” directed by James McTeigue, tells the story of a string of murders that mimic Poe’s stories. When a Baltimore detective (Luke Evans) confronts Poe (John Cusack) suspecting he’s behind the story, he realizes Poe cannot be the murderer. They end up joining forces to try and solve the mystery together.

A movie that has been described as a cross between 2009’s “Sherlock Holmes” and 2001’s “From Hell” would ordinarily be expected to draw attention from only one type of target audience, however it’s been reported the film does have a little for everyone.

Evans reportedly told indiewire.com that the movie doesn’t shy away from the “gory” details of Poe’s stories. Perhaps the movie won’t just fit into the mystery thriller genre, but horror as well.

Unfortunately for box office predictions, there have been mixed reviews when it comes to making movies based on the lives of famous authors. “The Hours,” based on Virginia Woolf’s life and famous novel “Mrs. Dalloway,” was nominated for numerous Academy Awards. On the other hand, “Becoming Jane” (based on Jane Austen) and “Sylvia” (based on Sylvia Plath), fell short and were both soon forgotten by critics.

People are not likely to trust just anyone with their favorite literary heroes, and ordinarily, a director with few movies under his belt would not garner respect from audiences.

However, McTeigue’s success with “V for Vendetta” coupled with the fact that Cusack eerily resembles Poe may help to bump the movie up on everyone’s watch list.

This would be an ideal movie for the Halloween season. Unfortunately, since the anniversary of Poe’s death was used as a premiere date for the movie’s trailer, audiences will have to wait quite a while for the actual movie to be released.

“The Raven” is scheduled to premiere in theaters March, 2012.

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