The Pale Blue Eye has found its Edgar Allen Poe. Actor Harry Melling, who’s perhaps best known for playing Dudley in the Harry Potter movie series, has just reportedly been cast to play Poe in the upcoming movie about the legendary poet from Netflix and filmmaker Scott Cooper. The movie, which has been described as a passion project for Cooper, also stars Christian Bale opposite Melling.
This movie has been in the works for years before finally making traction. Written by Cooper, it is based on the novel of the same name by Louis Bayard. In the movie, Bale plays a veteran detective tasked with solving a series of murders that took place in 1830 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Assisting him with the investigation is a pre-fame Poe (Melling), a young cadet who will one day become the iconic world-famous author.
“Even though Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston and died, delirious, in Baltimore, the majority of his life was spent in Virginia, my home state,” Cooper previously said in a statement, via Deadline. “So I grew up with his presence. He bequeathed us the detective genre, and he’s still such a presence in our culture, with every horror, mystery and science fiction writer indebted to Poe. This is my attempt at a large-canvas whodunit, with a serial killer at its center.”
Of Bale’s casting, Cooper added: “I want to make films that push me into a different, maybe uncomfortable space, but I am glad to have Christian go there with me. I’ve wanted to make this for over a decade and fortunately for me, Christian has perfectly aged into the lead character. He was far too young when I first thought of making this. Films are meant to happen at the right time. Christian is always in high demand, but to be able to make this with him will be such a joy for me.”
Cooper and Bale are producing The Pale Blue Eye with John Lesher and Tyler Thompson of Cross Creek Pictures, the studio financing the movie. The project marks the third collaboration for Cooper and Christian Bale, as the two have also worked together on the thriller Out of the Furnace and the revisionist Western movie Hostiles. Cooper’s latest movie, the supernatural horror flick Antlers with Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons, is scheduled to be released in October.
After rising to fame in the Harry Potter series, Melling has continued to act in various movies and television projects. He’s been seen in movies like The Lost City of Z, The Old Guard, and The Devil All the Time. On the small screen, Melling also appeared in 2019’s The War of the Worlds miniseries along with other roles in The Musketeers and His Dark Materials. More recently, he appeared in a recurring role as Harry Beltik in the hit Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit.
Melling is also set to star opposite Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand in The Tragedy of Macbeth. Directed by Joel Coen and inspired by the Wiliam Shakespeare tragedy, the black-and-white movie adaptation marks the first movie to be directed by a Coen brother without the other’s involvement. Melling previously worked on Coen by appearing in the Coen brothers’ movie The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
The Pale Blue Eye does not yet have an official release date set. With the cast starting to take shape, we can’t be too far off from a production start date, so more updates should be coming soon. This news was first published by Deadline.