The Raven - movie trailerMany writers have certainly found inspiration from the works of Edgar Allan Poe. After all, his tales of mystery and the macabre are considered some of the best American works of all time and are still in distribution to this day. But what if someone - some fiendishly off-kilter individual - were inspired to commit horrific murders in ways that mimicked some of Poe's most horrific fictional murders?

That's the premise behind The Raven, the upcoming film by V for Vendetta and Ninja Assassin director James McTeigue. The first trailer was just released for The Raven which you can watch below or head over to Apple and see it in HD.

The trailer looks pretty solid with many familiar elements from McTeigue's bag of tricks including a Zorro-like caped escapee and an unmistakable air of Sherlock Holmes about it. In one particularly chilling scenario in the trailer we hear a police detective reading a note from the killer that challenges the brilliant mind of Poe in a game of wits whereby the killer will leave clues on the corpses of his future victims. As you can imagine, this could lead to some very interesting scenarios since Poe's murders tended to be very graphic and particularly gruesome. For instance, remember the Pit and the Pendulum in which a man was strapped to a table with a swinging blade that inched lower and lower with each pass?

John Cusack unquestionably bears a striking resemblance to the inventor of the detective fiction genre, but we'll just have to see if he can pull off the transformation and totally immerse himself into a believable Poe.

Following is the official synopsis of The Raven which oddly isn't based on Poe's familiar poem of the same name: When a mother and daughter are found brutally murdered in 19th century Baltimore, Detective Emmett Fields (Luke Evans) makes a startling discovery: the crime resembles a fictional murder described in gory detail in the local newspaper—part of a collection of stories penned by struggling writer and social pariah Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack). But even as Poe is questioned by police, another grisly murder occurs, also inspired by a popular Poe story. Realizing a serial killer is on the loose using Poe’s writings as the backdrop for his bloody rampage, Fields enlists the author’s help in stopping the attacks. But when it appears someone close to Poe may become the murderer’s next victim, the stakes become even higher and the inventor of the detective story calls on his own powers of deduction to try to solve the case before it’s too late.