As we all know from our elementary school history lessons, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, is best remembered for helping end slavery in the United States, preserving the Union following the Civil War, and saving the world from a vast vampire threat.

Okay fine, so Honest Abe didn’t actually slay any of the undead. But director Timur Bekmambetov and the cast and and crew of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter want you to think he did, and they’re not holding back to make their fictional film as historically accurate as possible.

Earlier this week, the New York Times ran an interesting feature on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, describing some of the many ways that the film is striving to maintain a realistic tone, including information on its many period-appropriate props, some of which come from the Library of Congress. The feature also (ahem) featured two images from the set of the film, showing star Benjamin Walker as Lincoln.

Before we get to the pictures, here are some of the interesting blurbs from the Times piece. According to the article, in addition to plenty of vampire slaying action, the film will also feature a large-scale Civil War battle sequence.

“A pair of costume designers, Carlo Poggioli and Varya Avdyushko, figure they had made or rented at least 8,000 outfits for ‘Vampire Hunter,’ many of which were scheduled to be shredded, burned or otherwise wrecked a week or so ago by a literal army of extras who will be playing out part of the Gettysburg battle.”

Included in the article is more information on the vampires in the film. According to production designer François Audouy, the one thing he’s not supposed to talk about is the look of the vampires, describing them only as “unexpected.” It’s nice to see that Bekmambetov intends to give fans something new and different (which, along with its curious faux-historic subject matter, should separate this film from the hordes of other vampire movies in recent years).

For a good first look at Benjamin Walker as Abraham Lincoln, check out the images below. The first shows Abe giving a speech (the real President Lincoln was famed for his oratory skills) and the second is a behind-the-scenes shot showing Bekmambetov on set working with a beardless Walker (meaning the scene comes during Lincoln’s younger years.)

I’ve been interested in this film since I heard the book’s author, Seth Grahame-Smith, talk about the adaptation at last year’s C2E2 conference. In a time when Hollywood is churning out remakes, reboots, sequels, and other uninspired drivel, it’s kind of cool to see something like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter forging ahead with a $70 million budget and an enthusiastic production team.

Admittedly, the mash-up genre, which Grahame-Smith pioneered to an extent with his first book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, is on the verge of being totally played out (if it isn’t already). Nevertheless, I’m still hopeful that this movie will deliver something unique and, perhaps, inspire some other creativity out of Hollywood.

What do you think of Benjamin Walker in full Lincoln gear? Does he match the President well?

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter will be in theaters on June 22, 2012.

Source: New York Times