'The Pale Blue Eye' Casts 'Harry Potter' Actor As A Mystery-Solving Edgar Allan Poe

Harry Melling, who got his start playing the irksome Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter movies, has joined Netflix's The Pale Blue Eye cast. Christian Bale (The Dark Knight) is set to star in the film for director Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart), playing a former detective who is hired to solve a series of murders at West Point Academy and is partnered up with a young cadet named Edgar Allan Poe (Melling).

Deadline reports that Harry Melling will play famed writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe in The Pale Blue Eye, which is based on Louis Bayard's 2007 book. Here is the description of the book:

At West Point Academy in 1830, the calm of an October evening is shattered by the discovery of a young cadet's body swinging from a rope. The next morning, an even greater horror comes to light. Someone has removed the dead man's heart. Augustus Landor—who acquired some renown in his years as a New York City police detective—is called in to discreetly investigate. It's a baffling case Landor must pursue in secret, for the scandal could do irreparable damage to the fledgling institution. But he finds help from an unexpected ally—a moody, young cadet with a penchant for drink, two volumes of poetry to his name, and a murky past that changes from telling to telling. The strange and haunted Southern poet for whom Landor develops a fatherly affection, is named Edgar Allan Poe.

Quoth the Melling, Nevermore

Melling seems like a great choice to play a moody, oddball version of Poe. The young actor has come a long way since his Harry Potter days, developing a distinctive look that has served him well as he frequently plays twisted weirdos on screen. He played a supporting role in James Gray's exploration drama The Lost City of Z in 2016, and has since worked several times with Netflix, delivering a memorable performance as an artist with no arms and no legs in the Coen Brothers' western anthology The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, playing a deranged preacher in Antonio Campos's star-studded adaptation of The Devil All the Time, and popping up as one of Beth's chess competitors-turned-allies in the hit series The Queen's Gambit. The role of a "strange and haunted Southern poet" feels like it is squarely in his wheelhouse.

Scott Cooper, who previously directed Christian Bale in Out of the Furnace and Hostiles, is writing the script and directing this movie, and Cross Creek Pictures is producing and financing. Filming is expected to begin sometime this fall.