“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” now boasts an intro from exec producer Tim Burton, who’s in production on his own vampire flick, “Dark Shadows.” Burton sent this video along to accompany Fox’s unveiling of the “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” trailer at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. As the blunt title suggests, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”(June 22, 2012), adapted by Simon Kinberg and Seth Grahame-Smith from his bestseller, incorporates fantastical blood-suckers into staid historical fiction. Directed by Russian VFX auteur Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted”), who produced Shane Acker’s dystopian animated feature ‘9’ with Burton, the supernatural thriller/faux biopic stars Benjamin Walker and Dominic Cooper. (Trailer and intro posted below.)
“It’s very respectful of the book,” Kinberg told TOH. “It’s a challenge not unlike ‘X-Men: First Class’: both films have to seem relevant, cool, true to the period, yet contemporary.” Like Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” Bekmambetov brings “such visual imagination, incredible visuals,” says Kinberg, “in the sense of creating a universe in which the actors can’t get in the way of the characters.” Juilliard-trained Broadway Walker, who played Andrew Jackson on Broadway, “is the weird reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln.”
With such movies as last summer’s “Cowboys & Aliens” and the upcoming “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” studios are still chasing the hybrid genre trend. Results often depend on how seriously the films take themselves. Like “Cowboys & Aliens” and the Austen-Zombie combo, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is nothing if not high concept: we’ll see how the filmmakers carry that off. The trailer’s dark sepia tones and dramatic speeches could fit both historical fiction and fantasy thriller.
While “Vampire Hunter” puts a gothic twist on Lincoln’s legacy, for those who want a straight-up Lincoln biopic, wait ’til December, which brings Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th President in Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.”