Quoth the Raven indeed! It’s been announced that Harry Melling (Harry Potter, The Old Guard, and The Queen’s Gambit) will play Edgar Allan Poe opposite Christian Bale in Scott Cooper’s The Pale Blue Eye. Described as a passion project for Cooper, Melling will play a young version of the iconic writer for the upcoming Netflix murder mystery. Word has it that Cooper has been looking to get this project off the ground for more than a decade, and now two major stars are attached to the material. Cooper will direct in addition to adapting the screenplay from Louis Bayard’s novel of the same name.
In the film, 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. To solve the mystery, Bale’s detective partners with a detail-oriented young cadet (Melling), who will later become the world-famous author the world knows today.
Cross Creek will finance and produce the project alongside Bale, Cooper, John Lesher, and Tyler Thompson of Cross Creek Pictures. The Pale Blue Eye serves as the third collaboration between Bale and Cooper who previously teamed for Out of the Furnace and Hostiles.
After arriving on the Hollywood scene as Dudley Dursley for the Harry Potter film series, Melling continued to appear in several films, shorts, and TV series. Then, in 2020, his star seemed to burn brighter than ever before when he appeared as the sniveling villain Merrick in Netflix’s The Old Guard. After that, Melling began booking all sorts of starring roles for films like The Devil All the Time and Say Your Prayers. Next, Melling starred opposite Anya Taylor-Joy as chess prodigy Harry Beltik in Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit. His next film will be Joel Coen’s Macbeth, which also stars Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, and Brendan Gleeson, among others. Melling plays Malcolm in the upcoming film, which tells the tale of when a Scottish lord becomes convinced by a trio of witches that he will become the next King of Scotland.
Melling is certainly making more than sweet chess moves as he continues to work his way around the Hollywood chessboard. He’s keeping some pretty good company too. Edgar Allan Poe has always been a fascinating figure both on and off the silver screen, and it should be interesting to see Melling’s portrayal of the legendary poet.