Yes, the Mr. Poe that the film title “The Memorable Case of Mr. Poe” is about is actually Edgar Allan Poe – and when we call Stephen King the “horror pope of literature” today, this paraphrase should be around 200 years have applied to Mr. Poe. However, it is not Christian Bale who plays the pioneer of modern horror and crime fiction in the Netflix film.
The young Edgar Allen Poe is played by Harry Melling, and most people probably know him as “Dudley Dursley” from the “Harry Potter”-Film. That was a few years ago though and during that time Melling hasn’t been idle at all, starring in Die versunkene Stadt Z, The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs and the hit Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit as well in the Netflix action film The Old Guard. However, in the first picture of “The Memorable Case of Mr. Poe” we don’t see Melling, but Christian Bale, who plays the experienced investigator Augustus Landor.
Landor, who is actually retired, is assigned to investigate a series of murders at a military academy in 1830. There he meets a young cadet (Harry Melling) who shows great interest in Landor’s investigations – and will later become famous as the writer Edgar Allen Poe.
The whole thing sounds like a mystery crime story by Poe and the set design also seems beautifully dark, mysterious and scary, as is typical for Poe – but Poe is only the hero of the story, not its creator. “The Memorable Case of Mr. Poe” (original title: “The Pale Blue Eye”) is based on the novel of the same name by Louis Bayard. In it, Bayard seems to capture the spirit of the gothic horror genre and Edgar Allan Poe well, as the New York Times review said the book reads “like a rediscovered classic.”
›› “The Memorable Case of Mr. Poe” on Amazon*
The Memorable Case of Mr. Poe will be available on Netflix on January 6, 2023. An advance theatrical release has already been confirmed for the USA in December 2022 – so it is quite possible that Christian Bale’s new film will also be shown on the big screen in Germany before it comes to the streaming service.
Incidentally, Bale and Melling aren’t the only notable actors in the adaptation by director Scott Cooper, who previously worked with Christian Bale on Eye For An Eye and Hostiles. Also starring in The Memorable Case of Mr. Poe are Gillian Anderson, Robert Duvall, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Lucy Boynton, Timothy Spall and Toby Jones. The soundtrack comes from Oscar winner Howard Shore (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” and “The Return of the King”).
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