Jeff Smith 2:30 p.m., June 26
Anatomy of a Press Photo: First Look at John Cusack in The Raven
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:
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...
...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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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?
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?
Perfect. Send it out to the blogs and let the buzz begin. Good work, people.
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