James McTeigue Following John Cusack's The Raven With Message From The King

By Sean O'Connell 2011-07-21 10:33:33discussion comments
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James McTeigue Following John Cusack's The Raven With Message From The King image
V for Vendetta and Ninja Assassin director James McTeigue is expected to be AT Comic-Con over the weekend to drum up support for his upcoming feature The Raven, which casts John Cusack as famed writer Edgar Allan Poe. Yet while he’s still putting the finishing touches on that period mystery, McTeigue’s also lining up his next picture, and is expected to get right to work once his Raven responsibilities have wrapped.

McTeigue will tackle Message From the King for FilmNation Entertainment, Deadline reports. The company’s production head, Aaron Ryder, said they knew they had to be in business with McTeigue after seeing the latest cut of his Raven thriller. Ryder will produce Message with The Ink Factory and Ash Shah. Production on the film is set to begin in the fall, presumably right after McTeigue hands in his final cut on Raven.

But what is Message about? Scripted by Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell – who penned the Liam Neeson amnesia thriller Unknown -- the story follows a man named Jacob King, who ventures to Los Angeles to investigate his sister’s mysterious disappearance. On the surface, that makes us think of Steven Soderbergh’s brilliant 1999 noir The Limey, with a determined Terrence Stamp hunting down a sleazy Peter Fonda. But it’s unclear at the point where McTeigue will want to go with his casting, and whether this will be a dark neo-crime thriller or a lightweight, fast-paced action yarn.

What we do know is that McTeigue is capable of both, having balanced action and drama in the deeper-than-expected Vendetta. He also learned the ropes as an assistant director to Larry and Andy Wachowski for the siblings’ Matrix trilogy. It’s possible McTeigue wants something a little bouncier after The Raven, but we won’t know anything concrete until we see that thriller next March, or until the director starts making some casting decisions on Message From the King.
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