John Cusack to play Edgar Allen Poe

Variety reports John Cusack has signed on to star as Edgar Allen Poe in The Raven for Intrepid Pictures and FilmNation. James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) is directing, from a script by Hannah Shakespeare and Ben Livingston. Intrepid’s Trevor Macy and Marc D. Evans will produce with FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder.

The script is set during the last five days of Poe’s life, when a serial killer in Baltimore starts using Poe’s stories as a backdrop to his killings. Poe teams up with a young detective to catch the killer.

I actually read this script when it was making the rounds five years ago – which should give you a good idea of the molasses-like speed of Hollywood development. It’s a pulpy whodunit – more twisted than Sherlock Holmes but lighter than From Hell – and it definitely has the requisite Poe creepiness.  I’m not wild about John Cusack playing the role, though.

Still, this is one to keep an eye out for…