Acquisitions: Relativity Picks Up Edgar Allan Poe Thriller 'The Raven;' Sony Takes Morgan Spurlock's 'The Greatest Movie Ever Sold'

James McTeigue (V For Vendetta, Ninja Assassin) is putting the finishing touches on The Raven, which stars John Cusack as author Edgar Allan Poe. The story is a fictionalized look at the writer's last days, when he embarks upon a search for a killer who may be copying events from Poe's novels. Now Relativity has picked up distribution rights to the film, but a release date has not yet been set. Hope for October; maybe Relativity will have the balls to go up against Contagion and Paranormal Activity 3 on Oct 21.

Read the relevant portions of the press release after the break, along with info on the pickup of Morgan Spurlock's new film by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions.

Relativity Captures Raven

Studio Acquires Edgar Allen Poe Thriller

(Beverly Hills, CA) January 20, 2011 – Relativity Media announced today that it has acquired U.S. rights to market and distribute Intrepid Pictures' The Raven, directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) and starring John Cusack (2012, 1408).

The film also stars Luke Evans (Immortals, Clash of the Titans), Alice Eve (Sex and the City 2), Brendan Gleeson (Harry Potter Series) and Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Faster). The script was written by Ben Livingston (Bruce Almighty) and Hannah Shakespeare (Loverboy).

The Raven is a fictionalized account of the final days of gothic writer Edgar Allan Poe as he tracks a serial killer whose crimes mirror works by the famous author.

Trevor Macy and Marc D. Evans are producing for Intrepid, alongside Aaron Ryder for FilmNation, who brought the project to Intrepid. Galavis Films' Jesus Martinez is executive producing.  FilmNation is selling international distribution rights to the film.  Principal photography on The Raven began in November in Hungary, with a move to Serbia in December.  Production wrapped in January.

Oh, and the image above is one tweeted yesterday by John Cusack, in honor of Poe's birthday. Below is the first official image of the actor in character as Poe.

And then there's news, via press release, that Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has made one of the first buys at the opening of this year's Sundance Film Festival. The company nabbed rights to Morgan Spurlock's new documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, "a playful yet thought provoking documentary examining the world of product placement, marketing and advertising through a film financed entirely by product placement, marketing and advertising." The film will go out in April via Sony Pictures Classics. Here's the rundown on the doc:

From the billboards in Times Square to the barren streets of São Paulo, acclaimed documentarian Morgan Spurlock shines a light on the world of product placement, marketing and advertising through his new film, fully financed by the very product placement the movie explores on screen.  With humor and insight, Spurlock unmasks the marketing process, bringing audiences directly into the pitch meetings and marketing presentations which inform our everyday entertainment decisions.  From small, family-owned operations to multi-million dollar global brands, Spurlock uses his integrity as currency to sell out to the highest bidder, and garners the kind of large-scale marketing support and promotions customarily reserved for studio blockbusters in an effort to create a first – a "docbuster."