James McTeigue spent over a decade working as an assistant director on Hollywood productions, including stylized sci-fi works such as Dark City and the Matrix trilogy. The latter proved to be all the more a blessing for McTeigue, seeing how his working relationship with the Wachowski siblings helped him land the job of directing the popular V for Vendetta comic book adaptation.
McTeigue has not fared so well since there, having served (uncredited) as a co-director of the little-seen The Invasion and helmed the underwhelming Ninja Assassin. Hopefully, things will work out better with his new project: the historical (fiction) murder-mystery, The Raven.
John Cusack headlines The Raven as famed author Edgar Allan Poe, who is often credited as the inventor of the detective fiction genre. In McTeigue's film, the man gets caught up in a dangerous (and deadly) game when his stories become the basis for a madmen's murder spree in 19th century Baltimore. Local detective Emmet Fields (Luke Evans) thereafter recruits Poe to assist him in tracking down the serial killer; the stakes are soon raised even higher when the writer's beloved, Emily (Alice Eve), is also targeted by the mysterious murderer.
Check out the international trailer for The Raven below:
This new theatrical preview (basically) amounts to a truncated version of the domestic Raven trailer, with some bits of new footage sprinkled here and there. McTeigue's film by and large seems like a more action-packed variation on the Hughes Brothers' From Hell comic book adaptation - or, if you will, an "updated" period adventure in the vein of Sherlock Holmes (albeit more violent and visually-gloomier). McTeigue, if nothing else, knows how to deliver a good-looking film and he appears to have done that once again, with The Raven.
On the acting front - Cusack (arguably) still doesn't exactly seem to be so much channeling the real Poe, as he does merely dressing the part accordingly. Evans, by comparison, has become somewhat of a go-to actor for portraying straight-laced, world-weary warriors (both mortal and godly), similar to his onscreen counterpart in The Raven. The actor has played that part quite well in recent blockbuster titles, despite the respective films' variance in quality (see: Clash of the Titans, The Three Musketeers, and Immortals). That said: hopefully, the duo will work well together onscreen.
Be sure to check out our Raven video interview with Cusack and Eve, for their thoughts on the project.
The Raven is slated for theatrical release in the U.S. on March 9th, 2012.