The Raven (2012) Poster

(I) (2012)


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The film posits a fictional representation of the last days in the life of Edgar Allan Poe. In reality, no one actually knows how Poe spent his last days, his death being shrouded in mystery. He was found, delirious, on the streets of Baltimore on October 3, 1849, wearing clothes that were not his own. On the night before his death, he was reported to have repeatedly called out the name "Reynolds." He died on October 7, 1849, as depicted in the film. All medical records, including his death certificate, have been lost.
Edgar Allan Poe only made $9 for his poem "The Raven".
Although set in Baltimore, the film was actually made in Hungary and Serbia with a mainly British cast playing Americans. John Cusack is the only American in the main cast.
The first trailer was released on 7 October 2011, 162 years to the day after Poe's mysterious death.
Joaquin Phoenix was at one point in negotiations to star in the project together with Jeremy Renner. Phoenix would have played Poe to Renner's police inspector Fields, but the deal fell through when Renner decided to do Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011).
Ewan McGregor (as Edgar Allan Poe) and Jeremy Renner (as Inspector Emmet Fields) were originally attached to star, but dropped out.
When talking about navigation techniques Poe (Cusack) mentions he went to West Point and was expelled. This is historically correct, Poe was a cadet at West Point during Robert E. Lee's tenure as Academy Superintendent prior to the Civil War.
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Noomi Rapace was offered the role of Emily.
Some of the scenes were shot in Elementary School "Svetozar Miletic" in Zemun. Part of the money which school got from the filming was used to rebuild the attic that was used during filming.
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Sylvester Stallone had tried to set up a rival Poe biopic. He had Robert Downey Jr lined up to star.
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Some scenes were shot on the same sets as the BBC Jonas Armstrong starring version of Robin Hood (2006).
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The words Poe utters before his death in the movie ("May God have mercy on my poor soul") were, reportedly, the real Edgar Allan Poe's actual last words.
The man who is cut in half by the pendulum is Rufus Wilmot Griswold. In real life, upon Poe's death, Griswold wrote an unfavorable obituary for Poe which was first published in the October 9, 1849 issue of the New York Tribune. Additionally Griswold wrote a biographical article about Poe painting him as a depraved, drunk, drug-addled madman. Writers Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare wrote Griswold's fictional death scene as revenge. After Poe's death, Griswold claimed to be Poe's literary executor promising to share any profits with Poe's family which he did not. However, he attempted to destroy the author's reputation. Much of what he wrote were half-truths and outright lies, parts of it were lifted almost verbatim from Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's The Claxtons and his description of the fictitious Francis Vivian. Griswald also claimed he had proof in the form of some of Poe's letters. These were later found to be forgeries. Griswald's mendacious portrayal of Poe appeared in biographies about him for the nearly two decades and formed most people's impression of the man.
In the dance scene, there are people disguised with wings, resembling ravens.
Alice Eve spent two days in a box for her scenes of the entrapped Emily.

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