Netflix’s suspense film The Pale Blue Eye follows Christian Bale’s detective Augustus Landor as he investigates strange murders at West Point military academy in 1830. In this exclusive scene from the Scott Cooper-directed murder mystery, Landor meets an odd young cadet who will prove vital to cracking the case … Edgar Allan Poe, played by Harry Potter veteran Harry Melling. The exclusive clip can be seen via the player above or the embed below.
Based on the novel by Louis Bayard, The Pale Blue Eye portrays Edgar Allan Poe as a lovestruck young man yearning to one day become a great writer. This fictionalized tale chronicles the grisly inspiration for the sort of macabre tales Poe will become famous for writing.
This Edgar Allan Poe is a misfit cadet years away from being the acclaimed poet and author – and father of the modern detective story – modern audiences know. Melling described his young Poe as “an oddball” in the film’s production notes.
“He’s someone who’s a bit strange, he considers himself a poet and thinks he’s smarter than everyone else, but at the same time, doesn’t have the same social faculties as everyone else,” Melling observed. “He very much is in performance mode the entire time, until you really get to know him. I think he reveals who he truly is to Landor, and to Lea [Marquis, played by Lucy Boynton].”
To prepare for the role, Melling read lots of material about and penned by Poe, even going so far as to rehearse his lines while walking through London’s Highgate Cemetery.
“Not only would he physically mature into becoming the Poe we’ve seen, but he’s really captured the essence of who he is,” director Scott Cooper has said. “He’s someone who is really quite vulnerable, but is also very witty, who’s warm, but also has a certain steeliness and mettle.”
In addition to Bale, Melling, and Boynton, the film’s prestigious cast also includes Gillian Anderson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, Harry Lawtey, Simon McBurney, Hadley Robinson, Timothy Spall and Robert Duvall.
The Pale Blue Eye opened in select theaters on December 23. It will launch globally on Netflix on January 6, 2023.