Christian Bale is on the case.
Based on the 2006 novel by Louis Bayard, the Netflix movie The Pale Blue Eye stars Bale as detective Augustus Landor, who investigates a murder at the West Point military academy in 1830 after a cadet is found dead with his heart removed.
After hitting some roadblocks in the case, Landor seeks help from one of the cadets: future poet Edgar Allan Poe, played by Harry Potter alum Harry Melling, who narrates the teaser trailer that debuted Thursday.
The film also stars Gillian Anderson, Lucy Boynton, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, Timothy Spall, Gideon Glick and Robert Duvall. It's directed by Scott Cooper, who made last year's Antlers, plus worked with Bale on 2013's Out of the Furnace and 2017's Hostiles.
Bale, also a producer here, recently told Vanity Fair of the movie, "Every character in the story has secrets. And while Poe seems to be the one who is clearly putting on a performance, he is actually the most sincere. Everyone else is more quietly putting on a performance, but no one is who they are pretending to be."
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Cooper told Vanity Fair about working with Duvall, 91, on the movie, calling him a "second father."
"He's been a mentor of mine for a long time. He produced Crazy Heart. We've acted in a couple of movies together. I was married at his estate in Virginia," said the director. "He's like a second father to me, and he has interest in what it is that I'm writing. He knows that Christian is my closest pal. Of course, they've worked together. He asked to read it, and said, 'I would love to play this part.' And I said, 'The part is yours.' "
The filmmaker also explained how Poe factors into the story.
"Poe was so fascinated with the occult and the satanic. He spent so much time outside and his mind would race and would take him to places that were quite dark, even when he was younger, with a warmer disposition that masked this desire and necessity for darkness," said Cooper. "He left us as the godfather of detective and horror fiction."
The Pale Blue Eye is in select theaters Dec. 23 and on Netflix Jan. 6.