In an interview with the Mumbai Mirror, Pookutty had the following to say about his new project:
I couldnt be happier because I am doing a period film. It is a very special challenge because I have to recreate the sound textures of New York in 1854. Its an adaptation of “The Beautiful Cigar Girl” by Daniel Stashower and based on an eerie real-life experience of author Edgar Allen Poe which happened just months before his death. Joaquin plays Edgar Allen Poe.
Back in January, we had already begun to expect Phoenix was returning to his day job, as he had lost the beard and the rap career and gotten in shape. Now we have evidence, and this looks to be quite an ambitious role for someone who’s been out of the game and in the tabloids for a year.
The cast and crew, other than Pookutty and Phoenix, have not been released yet, but Stashower’s book is about Poe’s real-life detective work vis-á-vis the death of Manhattan tobacco clerk Mary Rogers. We’re still anticipating the Casey Affleck documentary about Phoenix’s short-lived rap career, which inspired plenty of detective work itself.