We are six months away from the June 22 release of director Timur Bekmambetov’s adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s historical fantasy novel Abraham Linconln: Vampire Hunter, but Anthony Mackie, one of the films stars, is happily optimistic about its potential as an actioner game-changer.

We spoke with Mackie – who became a familiar face for moviegoers in 2011 with major roles in The Adjustment Bureau, Real Steel and others – at the press day for next weekend’s new twist on the heist movie Man on a Ledge, where he spoke about the action sequences and groundbreaking nature of Vampire Hunter.

Mackie plays William, Lincoln’s childhood friend, valet and partner in supernatural crime fighting in the Bekmambetov film which recasts the 16th President of the United States as the nation’s leader by day and monster-killer by night. Mackie describes the tone of and elaborate fight sequences in the film thusly:

“We did a ton of training. I can honestly say that Timur is amazing because he shot this film like it was a real like biography of Abraham Lincoln, but the action sequences are unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. He realized that this fabricated story is so far out there that he had to go all the way out to make it work. So he just went as far as he could with the CGI and that trademark Timur cranking of shots and the storytelling.”

We were afforded a taste of Bekmambetov’s cinematic flavor with 2008’s Wanted.

“If you like those type of movies it gives you an aspect of history, but it also gives you an aspect of filmmaking that you’ve never seen before… It’s crazy. I saw it about two weeks ago and I didn’t know how to describe it for a day and half. Everybody kept asking me and I was like: I’m very happy I’m in it.”

Mackie has been able to enjoy a good balance between critically acclaimed dramas, large scale event films and indie favorites throughout the course of his career.

“I feel like the great thing about it is being able to do a pleasant mixture. Just recently I was able to do a play, two independent films and one big crazy studio film. But ‘Abraham Lincoln’ is like the ‘Matrix’ of the next generation. It’s going to do to film what ‘The Matrix’ did to film.”

Stay tuned for our interview with Mackie on his upcoming thriller Man on a Ledge.

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter opens in theaters on June 22.

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