The Pale Blue Eye is a historical crime thriller adapted from the 2006 novel of the same name by Louis Bayard. It follows a retired detective who is assigned the challenging task of investigating a spate of deaths occurring at the U.S. Military West Point Academy in 1830. To achieve his goal, detective Augustus Landor will ask for help from an ingenious cadet: none other than Edgar Allan Poe.
The movie is a passion project that director Scott Cooper has kept in the oven for several years and will finally arrive on the Netflix platform in January 2023, it had a limited theatrical release last month. Cooper, known for directing the multi-Oscar-winning movie Crazy Heart and the western drama Hostiles, isn’t new to bringing successful stories to the screen. He also was behind the gangster film Black Mass, which nearly surpassed $100 million in worldwide earnings back in 2015.
For this upcoming and long-awaited whodunnit, Scott Cooper serves not only as the director and screenwriter but also as a producer, alongside John Lesher and Tyler Thompson. Filling out the producers’ team is Christian Bale, who also happens to be the protagonist. The story’s original author Louis Bayard joins as executive producer, on board with Tracey Landon, Buddy Patrick, Emily Hunter Salveson, Ryan Donnell Smith, and Dylan Weathered.
Along with Bale, the film features a top-notch cast, indicative of the ambition that went into the project. Check out The Pale Blue Eye’s line-up of high-profile actors and the characters they portray.
Christian Bale as Augustus Landor
Few means are more effective in attracting audiences to a film than casting Christian Bale as your leading man. This time around, the Academy Award-winning actor will play detective Augustus Landor, the lead investigator of the tragic and intriguing events taking place at West Point.
Not only are Bale and Cooper close friends behind the scenes, but they have worked together a few times before The Pale Blue Eye: first in 2013 in the crime film Out of the Furnace and later in the 2017 western drama Hostiles.
The list of films that stand out in Bale’s portfolio is quite long, including acclaimed works such as American Psycho, The Fighter, Vice, Ford v Ferrari, The Dark Knight, and many others. In the past year, Bale made his MCU debut as Gorr in Thor: Love and Thunder, and starred in the ensemble caper film Amsterdam.
Harry Melling as Cadet Edgar Allan Poe
Harry Melling will bring to life one of the most renowned poets of all time — before he became a literary icon. In The Pale Blue Eye, Cadet Edgar Allan Poe will team up with detective Landor to discover who is behind the spree of deaths at West Point. Although the plot is purely fictional, Poe was actually enrolled at said military academy.
Melling’s acting career took off with his performance as Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter films. He subsequently appeared in a variety of movie and TV projects including The Old Guard and The Queen’s Gambit. His last project before The Pale Blue Eye was the musical drama Please Baby Please, and he is expected to appear in Michael Winterbottom‘s upcoming political thriller Promised Land.
Lucy Boynton as Lea Marquis
The American-English actress Lucy Boynton joins as Lea Marquis, the West Point doctor’s daughter and cadet Poe’s potential love interest.
Boynton has proven her talent in leading roles such as in the Best Picture nominated Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, or in John Carney‘s Sing Street. She has also had recurring roles in TV series like Netflix’s thriller Gypsy and comedy The Politician.
Lucy Boynton’s career appears to be on the way to reaching new heights. In 2022, she co-starred in two thriller miniseries: The Ipcress File, and Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? In 2023 Boynton will star as Marie Antoinette in the biopic Chevalier and will lead Ned Benson’s romcom The Greatest Hits, currently in post-production.
Gillian Anderson as Julia Marquis
The one and only Gillian Anderson plays Julia Marquis, A role whose involvement in the story remains a mystery up to this point. One thing is for sure, and that is that Gillian Anderson steals the screen every time she’s on it.
It would take many articles to talk about Anderson’s successful career. She holds Emmy Awards for her portrayals of Dana Scully in The X-Files and Margaret Thatcher in The Crown. More recently she has captured the hearts of the younger generation with her role as Jean Milburn in one of Netflix’s most popular teen shows Sex Education.
In the past year, she embodied First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in the Showtime series The First Lady. In 2023, not only will she be seen in The Pale Blue Eye and the fourth season of Sex Education, but she will also appear in White Bird: A Wonder Story.
Robert Duvall as Jean Pepe
It was no exaggeration to say that this cast is star-studded. Robert Duvall will play Jean Pepe, a world traveler with a vast library that will be crucial to the investigation of the crimes committed.
Duvall is widely considered one of the greatest to ever do it. Although he only has one Oscar Award for his performance in Tender Mercies, he was also nominated for his excellent acting in acclaimed films including The Judge, A Civil Action, The Apostle, Apocalypse Now, and a so-called The Godfather. He also holds an Emmy Award for his role as Prentice Ritter in Broken Trail. The list, as you may know, goes on and on.
His latest project this past year was the Netflix sports drama Hustle, and he’ll next star in the thriller film The Ploughmen.
Who Else Is Joining the Cast?
Simon McBurney (The Theory of Everything) and Timothy Spall (The Last Bus) join as Captain Hitchcock and Superintendent Thayer respectively, both expectant that detective Landor will decipher the cause of the events unfolding at the military academy. Toby Jones (The Hunger Games) will be playing Dr. Daniel Marquis, who in the official trailer also seems very concerned about the whole situation as he participates in the first autopsy.
For his part, young Fred Hechinger, who recently hit it off in the HBO series The White Lotus, plays one of the cadets in this film. Rounding out the cast are talents such as Charlotte Gainsbourg (Melancholia) playing Patsy and Harry Lawtey (Industry) as cadet Artemus Marquis.