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Check out John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe in “The Raven”

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The nineteenth-century master of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, died after allegedly losing his wits and wandering for days through the streets of Baltimore, Maryland. While a number of theories have already been floated (alcoholism, rabies, etc.) a new movie launches another one: he was chasing a serial killer who left real-life clues inspired by Poe's stories. Such is the plot of the upcoming movie, The Raven, staring John Cusack as the writer-turned-detective

A year ago, we pointed out that Cusack is kind of an unlikely choice to play Poe — most of Cusack's roles to date have been likeable good guys. From the look of the newly released photos, they at least got the goatee right. Facial hair aside, however, the film doesn't seem very concerned with historical accuracy. For one thing, Poe wasn't a detective, and its doubtful that Relativity studios will allow an in-depth look at the early years of his marriage to his thirteen-year-old cousin (who in the film will be portrayed by the twenty-nine-year-old actress Alice Eve, even though Poe's real wife would have been already dead at the time the film takes place.)

Still, The Raven promises to be interesting for fans of Cusack and fans of Poe, since the plot gives the writers an easy way to work in references to a bunch of Poe stories — even if it's about as educational as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.