This is the first trailer for Relativity’s period thriller The Raven. The James McTeigue-directed thriller stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe, who joins with a Baltimore detective (Luke Evans) to hunt down a serial killer using Poe’s works as the basis for a string of brutal murders — a pretty cool concept for a movie if executed right. The studio has set a March 9, 2012 release date. Alice Eve and Brendan Gleeson also star.
EXCLUSIVE: James McTeigue, who just completed the John Cusack-starrer The Raven for Relativity Media, is getting back in business with Ryan Kavanaugh. I’m told that McTeigue is making a deal to direct Ness/Capone, the Grant Pierce Myers script that made the 2010 Black List and puts a new spin on the epic battle between Eliot Ness and Al Capone during the Prohibition Era 1920s. Relativity acquired it in April. McTeigue is negotiating, even as he is casting his next film, Message From the King, the Oliver Butcher- and Stephen Cornwell-scripted thriller about an enigmatic outsider who comes to L.A. to investigate the sudden disappearance of his sister. That film is being financed by FilmNation Entertainment.
Ness/Capone covers the feud in more shades of gray than were evident in The Untouchables. Ness is a skirt-chasing 26-year-old publicity hound who seemed to get an adrenaline charge out of courting danger, kicking in doors, smashing moonshine stores and rubbing it in the noses of Capone and other mobsters. He would parade confiscated bootleg trucks past Capone’s hotel, calling Capone in advance to suggest he look out the window. Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Jeremy Bell, Gianni Nunnari, Jason Felts and Rene Rigal are producing.
EXCLUSIVE: In competitive bidding, FilmNation Entertainment has acquired In the Event of a Moon Disaster, a Mike Jones spec script that re-imagines the first moon mission. In this version, disaster strikes and the astronauts find themselves up against insurmountable odds. Jones, a former colleague of mine at Variety, turned his attention to screenwriting and has been working steadily. Most recently, he has been collaborating with Henry Selick on an untitled Pixar project, and Jones also scripted a reboot of Popeye for Sony Pictures. FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder will produce the space mission film, and Glen Basner will handle international sales. It will be the largest-budget film so far for FilmNation, which has aggressively put together its slate of projects.
FilmNation is in talks with Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon to star in Mud, the next film by Jeff Nichols, with whom FilmNation worked on Take Shelter. It also is fully financing Paranormal Activity helmer Oren Peli’s next untitled project, and recently completed the Jennifer Lawrence-starrer House at the End of the Street and The Raven, which stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe; Relativity Media releases that James McTeigue-directed film early next year. FilmNation will be bringing to Toronto Take Shelter; Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In; the Hugh Laurie-starrer The Oranges; and Midnight’s Children, an adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel. Jones is repped by CAA and The Gotham Group.
EXCLUSIVE: V For Vendetta helmer James McTeigue has been set to direct Message From the King for FilmNation Entertainment. Scripted by Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell (Unknown), the thriller centers on Jacob King, an enigmatic outsider who comes to LA to investigate the sudden disappearance of his sister. FilmNation Entertainment production head Aaron Ryder will produce with Rhodri Thomas of The Ink Factory and Ash Shah and production will begin in late fall with FilmNation handling international sales.
McTeigue just completed the John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe thriller The Raven for FilmNation and Intrepid Pictures. Relativity Media releasing the film March 9 and McTeigue and Ryder will do a little tub-thumping for the film at Comic-Con. “After working with James on The Raven and then seeing a cut of the film, it was very clear to us that we needed to make his next movie,” Ryder said.
Cornwell and Butcher are adapting the Warren Ellis graphic novel series Gravel for Legendary Pictures and Cornwell is a cofounder of The Ink Factory. That company is prepping an adaptation of John Le Carre’s A Most Wanted Man, which Anton Corbijn will direct. CAA reps McTeigue.
John Cusack blurted out on Twitter that he’ll play Edgar Allan Poe in The Raven. Since I can’t clear my throat in less than 140 characters, I’ll spend the extra verbiage describing the film. Based on an original script by Hannah Shakespeare (I kid you not) and Ben Livingston, the drama is set in the last five days of Poe’s life, when a serial killer is running around Baltimore using Poe’s stories as the backdrops for his killings. Poe and a young detective have a ticking clock to outsmart the killer before he strikes again. V For Vendetta‘s James McTeigue will direct, and production will begin late fall in Serbia. The film is a co-production between Intrepid Pictures and FilmNation. It will be produced by Intrepid’s Trevor Macy and Marc D. Evans, and FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder, who brought the script to Intrepid. FilmNation’s Glen Basner will sell international rights, and Intrepid is in discussions with domestic distributors.