WonderCon 2012: ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER Panel Recap
Timur Bekmambetov and Benjamin Walker Screen Special Footage
Collider.com, 17 March 2012
In addition to showing off their footage (and a new trailer!) for Ridley Scott’s 'Prometheus', 20th Century Fox also premiered some new footage for producer Tim Burton and director Timur Bekmambetov’s ('Wanted') 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'. Part of the new footage was this recently released trailer (Mr. Lincoln, you had me at “gun-axe”). But they also showed an extended section of a big action set piece that featured all the principal cast, Bekmambetov’s signature action style and a helluva good fight. Unfortunately, Burton could not be present because he was gravely ill, but did check-in via satellite in a delightfully Burtonesque clip.
'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter', starring Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell, and Anthony Mackie opens in 3D on June 22nd.
The panel kicked off with a very bizarre clip featuring a dessicated (and obviously fake) corpse speaking from a hospital bed. Apparently, this was meant to be a very ill Tim Burton, who was presided over by two attractive nurses and a doctor who preached holistic medicine. After a very strange sequence of events which tried to revive Mr. Burton (and failed), we got on with the show. Author/screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith moderated the panel which included Bekmambetov and Walker. While the previous trailers hadn’t entirely convinced me to see the film, the following action sequence definitely did, but skip the next paragraph if you’d like to avoid spoilers.
The big action sequence in 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' follows our titular hero (Walker) and Will Johnson (Mackie) as they’re defending a speeding train from attacking vampires. Any fan of Bekmambetov’s 'Night Watch' and/or 'Wanted' will instantly recognize the director’s signature style as there is a lot of it on display in this sequence. There is also a lot of axe-play (yes, axe-play) in this scene as not only Lincoln uses it to dispatch the undead, but Johnson does as well. The duo works together to put down vamp after vamp until the big bad shows up: Adam (Sewell), Chief of the Vampires. As the train is steaming towards a bridge set ablaze, Adam appears to be too much for our heroes, who jump from the falling train.
Yeah, that definitely made me want to go see this flick, which is promising to be heavy on action and axe-play. Walker looks completely badass when he’s swinging the two-hander around, lopping off undead heads left and right. It makes me want to see a revisionist write-up of American history with this Lincoln in place of the historically accurate one. Although, as the lights come back up and the panel discussion begins, Walker and Grahame-Smith do comment on the surprising accuracy of the film. I’ve outlined their responses below:
Here’s the official synopsis for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter:
'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' explores the secret life of our greatest President, and the untold story that shaped our nation. Visionary filmmakers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov (director of 'Wanted') bring a fresh and visceral voice to the blood-thirsty lore of the vampire, imagining Lincoln as history’s greatest hunter of the undead.