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A little peek behind the scenes at the studio...

Okay, so here's the high concept, people. Edgar Allan Poe wrote detective stories with a gruesome twist, right? So we're gonna do a film with a serial killer acting out Poe's stories, and he's called in to help solve the case. Gold, right? Now here's our first problem. Look at the guy:

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I don't think I have to tell you that that face will not open at $20 million. You could cast someone like William H. Macy and get a half-decent likeness with some name recognition...

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...but let's be serious: did anyone actually see The Cooler? I didn't think so. So: we're looking for handsome, but offbeat handsome, hangdog handsome - someone "interesting." What's that, Susan? John Cusack? Bingo. Just make sure he goes for the full goatee and not just the mustache. He needs to look like he has a chin.

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Okay, okay, first problem solved. Though we need to make sure Cusack isn't doing his usual cutesy-pie approachable schtick. We need some edge - Poe was a nutjob and a drunk. Have him work on his Nic Cage crazy eyes:

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Let's talk wardrobe. Did you see the returns on the Robert Downey Sherlock Holmes? They chucked the deerstalker hat and the Inverness coat and did him up in a vest and one of those goofy ties, and it was gold:

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We can do that. Except for the hat. Maybe Mr. Iron Man there can pull it off, but I'm getting a serious Charlie Chaplin vibe, and that's not gonna fly here.

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Good. Now let's get darker with the whole ensemble - this guy wrote some seriously Goth crap, people. Anybody here read "Hop-Frog"? Didn't think so. Just think Neo.

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Very good. But Poe isn't a superhero. He's a creepy-ass drunk who never gets the girl. So we can't have him all sexy and shit. We need to bring him down a peg or two without messing up the look...

I've got it! Remember that bit in the opening credits of Sex & The City where Carrie is all "I'm all that" and then the car goes by and splashes her?

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And then she's standing there, kind of humbled even as she sees herself plastered on the side of the bus? Let's do something like that. Only it's not just water - the gutters in Poe's world are nasty and muddy. Let's really dirty him up. Okay, what have we got?

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Perfect. Send it out to the blogs and let the buzz begin. Good work, people.

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