Edgar Allan Poe was pretty superfluous in the serial killer movie The Raven, but maybe if movie producers give him more agency, he’ll make a more convincing protagonist on-screen? That could be the reasoning behind Idris Elba’s newest project, an adaptation of Marc Olden’s intense-sounding 1978 novel, Poe Must Die.
According to Variety, Elba is developing Poe Must Die as a trilogy of movies, through his production company Green Door. While it would be too cool to see him take on a role in this historic/supernatural thriller, so far there’s no word on if he’ll also act.
It would sound as if Poe dying is the last thing readers (and soon movie audiences) want, since he seems to be the only thing between us and destruction wrought by one of Lucifer’s disciples. Here’s the book’s synopsis:
It is said that beneath Solomon’s glorious throne, books were buried that gave the fabled king control over life, death, and demonic power. The throne has been lost for millennia, but now one man seeks to find it, and harness its secrets to unleash hell upon the world. Jonathan is the most powerful psychic on earth, and in service of his god Lucifer he will tear civilization apart. To combat his dark designs, mankind’s hopes rest on a half-mad alcoholic named Edgar Allan Poe.
In the shadows of New York City, Poe drowns his talent in rotgut gin, trying to forget the death of his beloved wife. A bare-knuckle fighter named Pierce James Figg arrives with a letter of introduction from Charles Dickens, to beg Poe’s help chasing down the power-mad devil worshiper. Writer and fighter will stand together, to save humanity from a darkness beyond even Poe’s tortured imagination.
So, it’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen crossed with Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, pulling from The Pagemaster? It’s difficult to envision Poe as an action hero per se, since he’s often portrayed as a neurotic sadsack. However, this is the man who dreamed up the Red Death, so he’s clearly got some creepy ideas in his arsenal; perhaps he can surprise us. Ooh, can he and The Raven team up? Maybe Idris Elba can voice The Raven.