Joaquin Phoenix is known for his retirement from movies after the seminal performance in Two Lovers. He left a strong mark before he made the famed exit. He was not seen in any of the celebrity hangouts. It was like a self imposed exile. But the funny part was his turn as a rap MC with a long beard and a Jewish hat. No one really took this retirement seriously. It was probably a time for reflection for the independent star. An attention seeking exercise that would try to mimic what his brother encountered River.
Now Joaquin has confidentially signed on to play Edgar Allan Poe in an adaptation of Daniel Stashowerâ€™s book called The Beautiful Cigar Girl. But the validity of this news comes from Resul Pookuty who last year was the toast of his state after he took home an Oscar for Sound.
He said â€œI couldnâ€™t be happier because I am doing a period film. It is a very special challenge because I have to recreate the sound textures of New York in 1854. Itâ€™s an adaptation of The Beautiful Cigar Girl by Daniel Stashower and based on an eerie real-life experience of author Edgar Allen Poe which happened just months before his death. Joaquin plays Edgar Allen Poe.â€
The book concerns with death and all its forms. It tells the story of Mary Rogers who while she was alive became a celebrity in 1841 Manhattan. Her beaten body was one day recovered along the Hudson shore in Hoboken in July 1841. No one was convicted of her murder, and a year later an innkeeper claimed that Rogers was the victim of a botched abortion that took place at her inn.
The case got a lot of coverage for its carnage and man slaughter. It lead Edgar Allan Poe to investigate the reports in a fictional story called The Mystery of Marie Roget. It was one of the few titles during that time that was developed around real crimes.
The book indulges in all the encounters of the story and delves into the death of Rogers and involvement of the public including Poe in the proceedings. It feels like something Brian De Palma would attempt just for the sake of recognition. The film would have been something else if attempted by Bong Joon Ho who is known for his work on Memories of a Murder.
It is still hard to stay who in America can take up this case unless we have David Fincher jumping on board. The book is something documentary on the lives of people living during 1842-43. They witnessed firsthand. The use of Poe will be a tool to make it relevant to the people. There is also a furnishing of what Poe went through as a child and the reasons for him to exploit this story.
Daniel Stashower is also known for many of his autobiographical works especially the one for Arthur Conan Doyle. So he certainly is comfortable creating the Edgar Allan Poe story to mirror many of the events in the case. The connection of the names is the place where Rogers works John Andersonâ€™s cigar emporium. Here we see artists, historians and authors, who have their share of coffee and cigars. So it is the bringing together of these two worlds that has interested many of the studio bosses to capture these old American moments for their selfish pennies.