Today in the aloof manner that defines John Cusack‘s persona, he announced he’ll be playing Edgar Allan Poe in James McTeigue’s The Raven, via Twitter:


“officiali- will play edgar allen poe in fall-a-film called the raven, send any poe- gold – my way as i begin this journey into the abyss” [sic]

Past casting rumors for the film included Jeremy Renner and Ewan McGregor. IMDB still has both listed for the film, but has no roles defined. McGregor is also listed for the new Terry Gilliam adventure The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which is currently casting and seeking funding. (Film fans may remember Gilliam tried to make a Don Quixote movie once before. The ill-fated and plagued production of the project is documented in Lost in La Mancha.) Renner of course has a series of big projects lined up including The Avengers and Mission Impossible 4. So, we’ll have to wait and see as far as the rest of the cast is concerned.

While both Universal and Sylvester Stallone are each seeking to create their own Poe films, The Raven seems to be the furthest along in development. {SPOILERS AHEAD} McTeigue has pitched his film as “like the poem, The Raven, itself, crossed with Se7en.” The Raven will center on Poe’s “mysterious” final days.

The circumstances surrounding Poe’s death are strange. Four days before his death, Poe wandered the streets of Baltimore delirious, wearing another man’s clothes. He was escorted to the hospital, where he was never coherent enough to explain what had happened to him. The night before he died he repeatedly called out the name “Reynolds,” but no one could identify to whom this referred. The cause of Poe’s death is currently unknown as his death certificate has been lost over the years.

Inspired by this real-life madness, screenwriter Hannah Shakespeare has the fictionalized Poe tracking down a serial killer who copycats Poe’s stories in his killings.

All in all, it sounds like a dark and gripping tale.

Are you looking forward to The Raven? Do you think John Cusack is well-cast as Poe? If Poe were alive today, what would he tweet?

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