Here’s some film news that brings me back to my dark-imagination days of grade school, when I’d read and then re-read the works of Edgar Allen Poe with consistent fascination. If I had to pin the tail on my appreciation-for-dark-fiction’s ass, I think it’d all trace back to my young-aged fondness for Sir Poe; not only his writing, but the man’s bizarre life beyond the felt-tip pen he used to spin magic prose. How he married his 13-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemm, and how her teenage death was used by Poe to churn out some of the darkest literature ever; how he was an intense recluse, and died mysteriously, leaving a life punctuated by enigmatic macabre and uncertain fact in typically cloudy fashion.
“The Cask of Amontillado.” “The Tell-Tale Heart.” The painfully morose “Annabel Lee.” The book I had that compiled an extensive collection of his short stories and poems was guarded like my own Crystal Skull. Grammar school classmates and teachers must’ve thought I was on the eve of becoming a full-on Goth kid, the kind of all-black-wearing, tight-latex-sporting weirdo who stalks around Hot Topic while waiting for Type-O Negative to come back out.
About once a year, give or take, I revisit my Poe composite books, and the writings continue to stun. And each time I’m back in his world, I once again wonder why there’s never been a biopic on the guy; there’s been one on f’n Larry Flynt, but not Poe? Sly Stallone has been trying for years to get one off the ground, to no avail, and then there’s the old rumor that Viggo Mortensen was looking to play the man on the big screen. But, again, nothing.
And then came James McTeigue, director of V For Vendetta and the upcoming martial arts buzzer Ninja Assassin. McTeigue, who began his career as an assistant director under the Wachowski Brothers (they of The Matrix trilogy), has just announced that his next project will be The Raven, a fictionalized examination into the final five days of Edgar Allen Poe’s wicked life. In his film, Poe’s concluding days were spent knee-deep in a murder investigation, which leads McTeigue to describe the flick’s script as a cross between “The Raven” poem itself ans Seven. As if the plot alone isn’t promising enough, it turns out that the massively-underrated Brad Anderson (Session 9, The Machinist) was originally attached to The Raven, so you know it’s something far from pleasant. As it damn well should be.
Edgar Allen Poe’s lost last days, given the Shadow of the Vampire treatment…. Fan-fucking-tastic. Sign me up, count me in, send me the script yesterday. Now, who to play Sir Poe….. Viggo Mortensen would be good, but he’s a bit too strapping. Poe was a small, mousy fella. If Paul Giamatti were to lose a ton of weight, we’d be in serious business.
News first spotted over at: /Film