The Raven clip reads along

Relativity Media has posted a clip from its upcoming Poe-inspired, alternate history crime thriller The Raven.

The film depicts Edgar Allan Poe as he first is suspected of, and then embroiled in, a string of vicious murders based upon his own stories, of which there are many about death and murder.

This clip was an exclusive over at Shock ‘til You Drop. It gives us some new footage from one of the film’s crimes, and depicts some of the style of the film. We can only guess that each of the crimes will likely be depicted something like this, with John Cusack, who plays Edgar Allen Poe, reading a crime description from Poe’s works while the real murder plays out in hazy flashes.

The Poe character seems like Relativity’s answer to the new Sherlock Holmes films with Robert Downey Jr., in which Holmes is depicted as a very cerebral action star who fights and shoots with the same super-brain he uses to solve crimes. Here we have a similar sort of character in Cusack’s Poe.

It has the additional one-up that Poe’s stories came before Doyle’s, so if placed into chronological perspective, it’s Holmes who is the copycat.

It honestly seems like an odd role for Cusack, as even when he plays an action part, it’s not one meant to be taken very seriously – see: Grosse Pointe Blank – but with the addition of Luke Perry in the supporting role as the police detective who needs the help of the famous author, it could at least be a fun chase.

Of course, nothing about the film is anywhere near being historical accurate, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be.

Here’s the official synopsis:

The macabre and lurid tales of Edgar Allan Poe are vividly brought to life – and death – in this stylish, gothic thriller starring John Cusack as the infamous author. When a madman begins committing horrific murders inspired by Poe’s darkest works, a young Baltimore detective (Luke Evans) joins forces with Poe in a quest to get inside the killer’s mind in order to stop him from making every one of Poe’s brutal stories a blood chilling reality. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues, which escalates when Poe’s love (Alice Eve, “She’s Out of My League”) becomes the next target. Intrepid Pictures’ “The Raven” also stars Brendan Gleeson (“In Bruges”) and Oliver Jackson-Cohen (“Faster”). 

and the theatrical trailer:

 If the film is successful, expect at least a trilogy.

The Raven, which also stars Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson and Oliver Jackson-Cohen, hits theaters on April 27, 2012.