He is, as they say, the World’s Greatest Detective. And while it’s been a good few years since Christian Bale hung up his Batman cowl, those mystery-solving instincts are about to get a fresh workout in The Pale Blue Eye.

A chilly period murder-mystery drama-thriller from writer-director Scott Cooper, in which Bale’s Detective Augustus Landor (note: very good character name) tries to solve a series of murders at a US Military academy in rural New York. You can’t handle the truth! To add a new twist to the story? He enlists the help of Harry Melling’s young cadet, Edgar Allan Poe, as a sidekick. (No, it’s not a coincidence that Edgar Allan Poe is mentioned.) View the trailer here:

Cooper, who has previously worked on Antlers, Hostiles, and Crazy Heart, has a long history of dealing with eerie Americana, and this appears to be in that vein. He’s adapted Louis Bayard’s novel of the same name and assembled an impressive cast. Cooper’s ensemble includes Gillian Anderson, Toby Jones, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Timothy Spall, Robert Duvall, Lucy Boynton, and others, in addition to Bale and Melling (who has continued to have a pretty amazing post-Harry Potter career).

If all that snow has you feeling festive (the bloody murders, perhaps not so much – but who are we to judge anyone’s holiday spirit? ), The Pale Blue Eye will be in theaters on December 23. Otherwise, it will be available on Netflix on January 6th – a bleak midwinter tale for the bleak midwinter.


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