Yesterday, Entertainment Weekly offered up a new batch of photos for Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter starring Benjamin Walker (aka Meryl Streep's brand new son-in-law, recently married to Mamie Gummer).
For those who aren't familiar with him, his star making role (of sorts) was a lead on Broadway as "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson"... so this will be his second consecutive blood-splattered US President. What an odd odd start to a career.
Stage and screen require different scales of acting. Charisma and skill in one doesn't always transfer to the other so you never know. But on stage he just popped. He unarguably had "it" and a lot of "it", too. He turned down the role of Beast in X-Men First Class -- a potentially lucrative franchise gig -- to stay with his minor hit stage show which reveals either true devotion to the theater, strict contractual ethics or real confidence in his gift. Or all three. It didn't take long for another opportunity to present itself.
Out of accidental curiousity I recently picked up the book at the library. I wonderd about its content and if I could pick up any clues as to why this one didn't have any trouble getting off the ground while his first fiction novel Pride & Prejudice & Zombies can't seem to get out out of development hell.
The thing that surprised me the most and I'm not sure bodes well for the movie is how earnest it was. I was expecting comedy or at least satire but it read very much like a straightforward entry into the subgenre of historical fiction that twists history with supernatural elements. It's basically Lincoln the younger years only with a backstory that involves hunting super evil bloodsucking creatures. In the book the vampires are quite powerful in the south (though their nature is a secret from most) and they're all entangled financially and socially with plantation owners which gives them a neverending supply of defenseless prey (the slaves) that no one will miss. And here is where I had the problem. I actually found the book a little offensive. No one, least of all Abraham Lincoln, should need an overlay of supernatural bloodsucking to give them an epiphany about how cruel and unfair and irredeemably evil slavery is/was.
I wonder what the movie will do with the books framing device which is a modern discovery of Lincoln's private diaries. It seems like it might be an awful lot of wasted running time in a film version but we'll see. I haven't read Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and if its similar I can only assume it isn't filming already because Hollywood is so skittish about female leads, no matter how many hits feature them.
Have you read either of Seth Grahame-Smith's books?
Do you like the supernatural alternate history genre?