John Cusack once said he was in possession of an “interesting mix of enthusiasm and blackness,” which mirrors a quote attributed to Edgar Allen Poe: “There is an elegance in true enthusiasm.”

Perhaps it makes sense then that Cusack, a self-described Poe fan, will portray the troubled writer in James McTeigue’s “The Raven.” The film is a thriller, but is also, Cusack says, fantasy fiction, not unlike “Midnight in Paris” or “Amadeus.”

“I thought it was a very Poe conceit,” Cusack says of the film that pairs real-life figures with a fictional murder mystery involving a serial killer. “Poe being caught up as a character in a Poe story and then Poe having to deconstruct Poe in order to solve the murder.

“It’s a fun film about an important writer,” he adds, “it’s not an important film about an important writer. We didn’t set out to make a linear biopic.”

“The Raven” will be released in approximately 2,000 locations in North America on Friday, with Cusack supporting the film with a heavy TV appearance schedule, and an L.A. press junket followed by appearances in Chicago and New York.

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