April 22, 2012


Opening next weekend is director James McTeigue‘s (V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin) The Raven.  If you’re not familiar with the film, the story takes place in 1840s Baltimore where a series of grisly murders appear to have been inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe (played by John Cusack).  Poe and a detective (Luke Evans) must team up to find the killer before he takes out the woman Poe loves (Alice Eve).  The film also stars Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Brendan Gleeson.   For more on the film, here’s the trailer and 40 images.

During my wide ranging interview with McTeigue, we talked about making The Raven, the mixture of fact and fiction, film versus digital, his favorite director, actor and movie, the necessity of an R rating, future projects like Message from the King, The Gringo, and Ness/Capone (a retelling of the Eliot Ness/Al Capone myth that’s “nothing like The Untouchables”) and a lot more.  According to McTeigue, it seems like Message from the King is the one with the one with the most momentum, as he’s “going through the casting process of that at the moment” and it’s being produced by Aaron Ryder and FilmNation.  Hit the jump to watch. 

the-raven-james-mcteigue-john-cusackJames McTeigue Time Index

  • The movie is bloody, but McTeigue believes that’s how an Edgar Allan Poe movie should be.
  • 2:00 – Favorite director: Francis Ford Coppola.  Favorite film: The Godfather: Part II.  Doesn’t have a favorite actor, but admires Robert De Niro in the “genius year.”
  • 5:00 – Calls cinema the “true 20th century art form.”  The 1970s were a “zenith” for the industry.
  • 7:00 – Talks about the political commentary of V for Vendetta.
  • 7:50 – The mixture of the fact and fiction of Poe was always the premise.  The motivation of the killer was the big change during development.
  • 9:00 – McTeigue explains the killer’s mindset and Poe responds to his methods.
  • 10:30 – The Raven was shot on film because it fits the aesthetic he wanted, such as “richer blacks.”
  • 11:45 – He shot a commercial on digital.  Compares putting a commercial together to making a feature.
  • 13:30 – Updates the status of upcoming projects Message from the King, Ness/Capone, and The Gringo.  “You always have many fingers in many pies.”
  • 15:00 – Pitches the story for Message from the King, which is probably his next project.
  • 16:30 – Calls Drive a “very European take on L.A.”  Message is more the classic perception of L.A.


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