Here's a trailer for the new action thriller The Raven, which has John Cusack as a crime-fighting Edgar Allan Poe. That's right! This time the the poet gets to be the badass.
Yes, in case this sounds familiar, this was also the plot of a scuttled TV pilot. Though I suspect this movie is less about mystery and more about action and gore. This seems to be a stab at literary update in the vein of Sherlock Holmes, the Guy Ritchie movie that turned Britain's original erudite detective into a butt-kicking wisecrack machine. This Raven movie seems significantly less comedic than Holmes, but the similarities are certainly there. They even got an aged '80s It Boy to play the lead!
I'm not the first to say it by any means, but good grief hasn't John Cusack had just about the weirdest movie career ever? There is really no rhyme or reason to his resume, as if the only plan was to have no plan. Which is kind of admirable! Sure he doesn't seem to be doing critically lauded movies like he used to (Stephen Frears' terrific The Grifters, the can't-believe-it's-twelve-years-old Being John Malkovich), but he's certainly at least doing interesting things. Hitler-related speculative fiction (Max), Iraq war-themed ultimately misguided stabs as Oscar territory (Grace Is Gone), and genre horror and disaster flicks with numbers for titles (1408, 2012) that are strangely buoyed by his sadsack presence. He's capable with a gun, with a charming romantic comedy tic, or while the world is exploding around him. So here he is, because why not, doing a "literary" period mystery thriller. Great.
He's joined by closet returner Luke Evans and comely lass Alice Eve, and directed by the turgid V for Vendetta's James McTeigue. So this probably won't be very good, but it might not be terrible either. It'll just be some weird place in between, so true to Cusackian form.