John Cusak has been tapped to star as Edgar Allan Poe in director James McTeigue's upcoming movie The Raven. Don't expect the plot to be like the poem, however; it's a fictional account of the writer’s final five days, following Poe and a young detective as they try to track down a killer who has been using Poe’s work as inspiration.
Magnolia Pictures has acquired the American rights to the fact-based murder mystery/love story All Good Things by Andrew Jarecki, director of the award-winning documentary Capturing the Friedmans. It's scheduled for release in the U.S. in December in order to qualify it for Oscar consideration.
Jim Caviezel has been added to the cast of the upcoming Antonio Negret thriller Transit. He'll play the father of a family returning from a camping trip who crosses paths with bank robbers. Hopefully, he'll be a little safer filming this one: he was struck by lightning during production on Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ. (He was most recently seen in the TV remake of The Prisoner.)
The "kidnapping thriller" The Cold Light of Day has signed its lead actor, Henry Cavill (The Tudors). The story surrounds a cocky young Wall Street trader and how he has to unravel his father's darkest secret when his own family is kidnapped in Spain.
The BBC is producing a TV pilot based on the novel Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. If it's successful, a series should hopefully ensue. (Hat tip to Crimespree Cinema.)
ITV announced three new crime dramas for 2011: Injustice stars James Purefoy as William Travers, a criminal barrister who is recovering from a traumatic series of events that have shaken his belief in the legal system; Scott and Bailey will star Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp as two homicide detectives from Greater Manchester Police’s prestigious Major Incident Team; and The Jury focuses on the everyday people who find themselves at the center of one of the most controversial criminal re-trials of their time.
Fox Studios is producing the pilot Outlaw Country, a crime thriller/family drama "set against the backdrop of southern organized crime and Nashville royalty." It recently signed former Deadwood co-star John Hawkes in a starring role.
Real-life forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs, author of the Temperance Brennan novels and a producer of the Bones TV show based on the series, joined NPR's Talk of the Nation for an interview. She admits that shows like Bones "raise perhaps unrealistic expectations about what will be available in every single case." The latest BBC News Meet The Author interview features Mark Billingham talking about From The Dead, the most recent addition to his best-selling Tom Thorne series. By the way, if you want to check out Mark's stand-up comedy routine, keep your eye on his website.
If you can stay up late late, tune in tomorrow (August 30) night's Craig Ferguson show for a chat with Laura Lippman. Her latest standalone crime fiction novel, I'd Know You Anywhere was the first for publisher Harper Collins to sell more e-books than print in the first week.