Director Stuart Gordon has worked with actor Jeffrey Combs since his first feature film, Re-Animator, in 1985. Since then, they have worked on nearly a dozen projects, many of them adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe stories. Their newest collaboration isn’t all that new: Nevermore. Based on the personal letters and journals of Poe, “Nevermore” started as a one-man stage play, directed by Gordon and starring Combs as Poe. Three years later, the pair want to turn the play into a film. We spoke with Stuart Gordon about his plans for the film adaptation.
First tell us a little bit about “Nevermore” and how you started with the play?
In 2007 Jeffrey Combs played Poe for the first time in “The Black Cat,” an episode of the Masters of Horror series on Showtime. He was so amazing that we decided to create “Nevermore,” a one-man stage show for the bicentennial of Poe’s birth. Originally scheduled for a four week run, the show ran for three years and toured the country. Now we want to turn it into a feature film using Kickstarter to finance it.
Why turn it into a feature?
Jeffrey’s performance has been hailed as the definitive portrayal of Edgar Allan Poe and we want to preserve it as well as reaching a wider audience.
What is the process like of adapting a play into a film? How does it differ from starting a film from scratch?
Usually adapting a play involves opening it up, so in the film version of Nevermore we will actually show a dramatization of “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Raven” as well as bringing to life many of the characters in Poe’s life, including his child bride Virginia and his doomed actress mother Eliza Poe.
You've worked with Jeffrey Combs for a long time. What makes him the perfect collaborator / conspirator?
Jeffrey and I have always gotten along because he is a risk-taker. He is also a total chameleon who can become anyone and he always surprises me. I once got into an elevator and there was this weird little redneck character skulking in the back and I was getting very nervous until I realized it was Jeffrey.
Besides Nevermore, are you working on anything else?
I’m working on several other projects including “Taste,” a new play by Ben Brand that will have its world premiere next April at the Sacred Fools Theater in LA. It’s about a man who posts a help wanted notice on the internet for someone he can kill and eat.
For more info on the adaptation, and to donate to the cause, check out the "Nevermore" Kickstarter page.