John Cusack will play Edgar Allan Poe in James McTeigue's "The Raven," the actor announced on Twitter on Friday.
Originally written by Hannah Shakespeare and Ben Livingston, the period serial killer thriller takes place during the last five days of Poe's life, when a serial killer haunts Baltimore by using Poe's sinister stories as the inspiration for his macabre crimes. The author teams up with a young detective to track the maniac before he strikes again.
A legendary alcoholic, Poe died under mysterious circumstances on the streets of Baltimore at the age of 40 in 1849.
McTeigue told Slash Film last year that the film is "like the poem, 'The Raven,' itself, crossed with 'Se7en.'"
Jeremy Renner and Ewan McGregor were previously attached to the project, which also had Brad Anderson developing it for a while.
Intrepid Pictures principals Trevor Macy and Marc D. Evans will produce "The Raven" with FilmNation's Aaron Ryder, who brought the script to Intrepid after developing the project for years with Endgame, which is no longer involved. Production is scheduled for late fall in Serbia.
Intrepid is co-producing and co-financing Mabrouk El Mechri's thriller "The Cold Light of Day" with Summit, while FilmNation has "The House at the End of the Street" in production with Jennifer Lawrence, Max Thieriot and Elisabeth Shue starring. The latter company is selling international rights to "The Raven," while the former searches for a domestic distributor.
Cusack most recently starred in "Hot Tub Time Machine" and "2012." He is represented by CAA.