James McTeigue talks The Raven

2011/10/08 00:03:06 +00:00 | Jonathan James

The Raven director James McTeigue and co-star Luke Evans were in attendance at a ceremony at the gravesite of Edgar Allan Poe, commemorating the 162nd anniversary of his death. During the event, they took some time to answer press questions and provided new details on the upcoming film.

On how much of the film is fact versus fiction: "There's a portion of it that's fantastical because Poe is in the middle of a murder mystery, a serial killer's loose in Baltimore, Maryland in 1849. That is the fiction. The nice thing was taking facts of Poe's life, using some of his stories, and melding them together in this fictional tale."

On the topic of death scenes: "The construct of a killer taking Poe's stories and putting a new twist on them were fun to do, like the aftermath of the Murders in the Rue Morgue and it was great to create our version of the Pit and the Pendulum and parts of The Tell-Tale Heart. It was definitely great creating them all because Poe obviously had a macabre sense of humor as well as a macabre sensibility. I'm not trying to compete with movies like Saw, which are very particular. We're more in the psychological thriller mode."

On the tone of the film: "I would say it's more like a film like Seven. That film uses the seven deadly sins as a motif and it's about two people working out what the killer's next move is. This is two disparate characters trying to come together to get inside the mind of a killer and see what story he'll do next. Whether they can break down these complex clues he leaves to catch him."

To read the rest of the interview, head over to Shock Till You Drop. We've included a couple of images from the event as well as a list of unusual Edgar Allan Poe facts sent from Relativity Media:

· Poe wrote a fabricated news story of a balloon trip across the ocean to garner attention and publicity in New York City.

· Poe was a champion for higher wages for writers and international copyright law, as his writings were continuously published without him getting credit or compensation.

· Prior to becoming Poe’s wife at the age of 13, his female cousin Virginia acted as a courier, delivering letters to Poe’s lady loves.

· From 1949 to 2009, a mysterious figure has left a half-empty bottle of cognac and 3 roses on Poe’s grave every day on his birthday.

· Poe formulated rules for the short story, including that it should relate a complete action and take place within one day in one place.

· Poe was deeply interested by cryptography, the creation and translation of secret codes, and was very proud of his ability to translate them. He would challenge readers of various publications where he worked to send him codes to decipher and, by all accounts, he seemed able to unlock the secrets to any he received.

· Poe’s lifelong dream of owning and operating his own publication never came to fruition.

· Poe met with Charles Dickens while Dickens was in the US on a lecture tour, and solicited his help with getting published in England—nothing ever came of it.

· Poe’s grandfather was an important figure in the American Revolution, contributing a large sum of his own money to outfit local branches of the Continental Army. His wife,

· Poe’s grandmother, personally sewed over 500 soldiers’ uniforms for Lafayette’s troops as they passed through Baltimore.

· Poe joined the Army in 1827, lying to recruiters about his age and name. He also published his first collection of poetry during this time. He achieved the rank of Sergeant Major.

· Poe experienced periods of extreme destitution, often having to burn his furniture to keep warm during the winter.

· Poe successfully sought expulsion from West Point. That being said, he was one of the top students in his class.

· Wrote poetic tributes to all the pivotal women in his life.

· Poe had two biological siblings, but all were raised in separate foster homes.

· Poe’s childhood hero was Lord Byron.

· The Poe House and Museum in Baltimore is in jeopardy of being closed in mid-2012 due to Baltimore City budget cuts. The city eliminated the Museum’s funding in 2010.

· Edgar Allan Poe was buried in Westminster Burying Ground and had no headstone for years after his death. In 1860, Poe’s relatives commissioned a small headstone that erroneously listed Poe’s birth date as January 20 instead of January 19 and was destroyed in a train accident before it made it to the gravesite.

· In 1875 Poe’s remains were dug up and moved to a memorial site to be near his family and a gravestone was placed in the wrong spot and was moved around several times.

· This lead people to wonder not only where Poe’s original burial spot was but also if the man who was moved to the spot by the memorial is even Edgar Allan Poe.