'The Raven'

"The Raven" star Luke Evans and director James McTeigue paid a visit Baltimore Friday for anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe's death. (Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun / October 7, 2011)

James McTeigue and Luke Evans, the director and co-star of the upcoming film "The Raven," laid a wreath at the grave site of Edgar Allan Poe Friday afternoon, to commemorate the 162nd anniversary of the author's death in Baltimore.

McTeigue ("V for Vendatta"), speaking to a crowd of about 50 during a Q-and-A session inside Westminster Hall before the wreath-laying, spoke glowingly of Poe's reputation as creator of the detective novel and the man who popularized of horror fiction. He also spoke of the writer's connections to Baltimore, where Poe lived for about three years in the 1830s and where he met his cousin and future wife, Virginia Clemm.

The director also referred to the plight of the Poe House and Museum, which had its city budget cut off in 2010 and could be closed to the public if a plan isn't settled on within the next nine months to maker it self-sufficient.

"It seems like such a compete shame," McTiegue said.

Poe is buried in the graveyard surrounding Westminster Hall. He died in Baltimore on Oct. 7, 1849, after being found delirious and wearing someone else's clothes on the streets of Baltimore. The exact cause and circumstances behind Poe's death have never been determined.

"The Raven," scheduled to be released on March 9, 2012, stars John Cusack as Poe and is set in Baltimore in the last weeks of his life. Although the movie was shot in Serbia and Hungary, McTiegue promised that some shots would be recognizable as Baltimore, including an opening scene with the Washington Monument visible in the background.

Evans ("Clash of the Titans") plays Detective Emmett Fields, who is forced to seek Poe's help when a series of murders is clearly being inspired by the author's short stories. Alice Eve ("Sex and the City 2") plays Emily, Poe's fiancee in the film.