The Raven featurette rounds out the poet

Relativity Media has released a featurette for its upcoming alternate history crime thriller The Raven.

In the video, stars John Cusack and Alice Eve discuss the motivations and challenges of their repsective characters.

It sound like Cusack is really taking the part seriously. He’s been doing a lot of reading, and has decided to round out the part a lot more than the typical portrayal of the famous poet as just a brooding crazy person. So yes, it’s rather encouraging to hear the way he talks about the role.

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.

Eve’s role is not quite as historic, and she seems to be taking it less seriously, but perhaps that makes sense, as she could be little more than a romantic interest. Of course, nothing about the film is anywhere close to historically accurate, but then again, I don’t really think it’s supposed to be.

We’ve also got this new clip from the film, showing off some more of the drama:

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:

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