Director Scott Cooper has formed a fruitful collaboration with Christian Bale across a couple of films so far, with 2013’s ‘Out of the Furnace’ and 2017’s ‘Hostiles’. The pair have a good working relationship and it’s not surprising that they’ve reunited for Cooper’s latest film, murder-mystery-with-a-twist ‘The Pale Blue Eye’.
A first teaser for the movie is now online, featuring all the brooding tone you might expect from a period crime drama.
Cooper’s latest finds the writer/director adapting Louis Bayard’s 2003 novel of the same name.
Here’s the story for this one: The year is 1830. In the early hours of a grey winter morning, a West Point cadet is found dead. But after the body arrives at the morgue, tragedy becomes savagery when it’s discovered that the young man’s heart has been skillfully removed.
Fearing irreparable damage to the fledgling military academy, its leaders turn to a local detective, Augustus Landor (Bale), to solve the murder.
Stymied by the cadets’ code of silence, Landor enlists the help of one of their own to pursue the case, an eccentric cadet with a disdain for the rigours of the military and a penchant for poetry—a young man named Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Melling)…
And, around Bale and Melling (a ‘Harry Potter’ veteran who has more often played nasty types in Netflix productions such as ‘The Old Guard’ and ‘The Devil All the Time’), Cooper has gathered a truly impressive ensemble that includes Gillian Anderson, Lucy Boynton, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, Harry Lawtey, Simon McBurney, Hadley Robinson, Timothy Spall, Joey Brooks, Brennan Cook, Gideon Glick, Fred Hechinger, Matt Helm, Jack Irving, Steven Maier, Charlie Tahan and Robert Duvall.
When the movie was originally announced, Cooper expressed his enthusiasm for re-uniting with Bale. “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 told 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,” he adds. “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.”
In keeping with some other current Netflix projects such as ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’, ‘Pale Blue Eye’ will be on limited release in theaters on December 23rd, before it lands on the streaming service on January 6th.