James McTeigue is currently developing "The Raven", a fictional story about what would happen if a serial killer challenged poet Edgar Allan Poe to solve a series of killings inspired by his own stories. On Saturday, November 21, the director sat down with SCI FI Wire to talk about how the famous author and his works inspire McTeigue's thriller film.
"'The Raven', 'Tell-Tale Heart', 'Premature Burial', 'Murders in the Rue Morgue'," McTeigue mentioned several Poe's poems that will give ideas for the film's murders. "There's a whole lot of them. It's actually a pretty cool concept."
Though the film is a complete fiction, McTeigue has planned to present the film's major character complete with the real details. "It's a total fiction, but obviously Poe is, like, a well-known and much-beloved character," he explained. "People know a lot about him, the way he was a bit of a rascal, the way he was a bit of drunkard, the way he married his 13-year-old cousin. He was penniless for most of his life. He touched on consumption, like a lot of people did then, so all those kind of real elements are bled into a fictionalized story."
Sharing further about the film, McTeigue said, "It's sort of 'Se7en' meets a series of Poe stories. It's set in 1850s Baltimore, and it's about creating Poe's version of 1850s Baltimore, him moving through it. So it has a lot of the Poe stories interwoven into it." He, moreover informed that the film is expected to kick off its principal photography in 2010 and he has "already done some initial location scouting."
About the casting, the Australian filmmaker revealed, "I'm in the middle of casting, and hopefully it'll get going by about mid-March." Asked about who will play Poe in his 40, he admitted that George Clooney and Brad Pitt will not be his option. "No, I don't think they'd be the right choice. Clooney and Pitt, they're good actors, but in my vision of it, they're not the people I'm thinking of," McTeigue stated. The movie, meanwhile, is scheduled for a 2011 release.