20th Century Fox’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (read our review) opens in theaters today. It is the just the latest in a long line of vampire flicks to flood the market this year, alongside such films as Underworld: Awakening and Dark Shadows (among others).

Universal must be banking on the prospect that moviegoers aren’t completely tired of films belonging to that horror sub-genre; new reports reveal that the studio is in talks to pick up an original script titled Bethlehem – which features both vampires and zombies.

The word from Variety is that Universal has entered final negotiations to acquire Bethlehem; the Black-listed spec script was written by relative newcomer Larry Brenner. Joe Roth and Palak Patel (Snow White and the Huntsman) are already in line to produce the film. Furthermore, Snow White visual effects supervisor/second unit director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan has been attached to make the film his feature-length directorial debut.

Variety describes the plot for Bethlehem as a story which follows “a vampire who must protect a group of humans he feeds from, to survive from other vampires, and shepherd the humans to a safe haven in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania” (where our own Kofi Outlaw spends many a weekend with his in-laws). However, according to other sites (hat tip to Morning Call), the story actually takes place during the zombpocalypse. That is to say: the aforementioned vampire protagonist has really been employed to protect the last remnants of humanity from the brain-hungry, undead masses (which do not feed on vamps, according to Brenner’s script).

Bethlehem is just one of a handful of upcoming films that pit zombies against some group other than “ordinary” humans – including, the comic book adaptation Zombies vs. Robots, and the comical spec script titled Boy Scouts vs. Zombies (another Black-listed screenplay). Brenner has described his Bethlehem script as a horror/comedy, placing it somewhere between the more serious tone of Robots and the campy nature of Boy Scouts. The Biblical overtones of Brenner’s spec (see: the title) likewise suggest his zombie/vampire movie will attempt to juggle comedy and drama elements, possibly striking a balance akin to last year’s Fright Night remake. Of course, that’s just speculation, at this point.

We’ll keep you updated on the status of Bethlehem as the story develops.

Source: Variety, The Morning Call