This summer marks the arrival of 20th Century Fox’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter adaptation, an unconventional mix of period drama, action thriller, and monster horror genre tropes that offers an alternative look at the machinations of a famous historical figure – as scripted by Seth Grahame-Smith (based on his original novel), directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) and produced by Tim Burton.
A full-length trailer for Vampire Hunter premiered at the 2012 WonderCon and has now made its way online. While it features many of the same elements that made the teaser trailer memorable (including the opening Johnny Cash voiceover), there’s a healthy amount of new footage here that includes excerpts from hyper-realistic Civil War battles, Honest Abe wielding his axe like a ninja – and even a helping of plot, for the course.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter explores the “secret history” of the famous 16th U.S. president, revealing that young Abraham’s mother (Robin McLeavy) was murdered before his very eyes… by a vampire. As he matures into a fully-grown man, Honest Abe (Benjamin Walker) sets out on a lifelong quest to battle those creatures of the night, receiving assistance and guidance from an unexpected source: the vampire Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper). Abe’s plight eventually culminates in his serving as his country’s Commander-in-chief during the American Civil War, when the vampires form an alliance with the slave-owning Confederacy.
Check out the second domestic trailer for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter:
Similar to the international trailer, this new theatrical promo makes Vampire Hunter look a bit like a movie at odds with itself. Although the period film’s over-the-top set pieces and video game-like fight sequences look pretty stylish and fun on their own, they appear to clash with the grounded feel of the dramatic proceedings and storyline – which, odd as it may seem, are both played dead serious and brought to life via the imaginative use of some legitimate historical artifacts and material. As a result, these Vampire Hunter theatrical promos kind of feel like mashups which borrow footage from a title like, say, Steven Spielberg’s Amistad and cobble it together with scenes from Bekmambetov’s Night Watch.
Will that strange storytelling approach ultimately work in the actual movie? Well, there’s no way to know for certain in advance – though, given the creative personnel involved with Vampire Hunter, chances are good that the film should make for an overall unique viewing experience (if not necessarily a “good” one).
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter arrives in 2D and 3D theaters around the U.S. on June 22nd, 2012.