Over the weekend, Screen Rant participated in a special (and surreal) event for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in honest Abe's hometown of Springfield, IL. While there, we visited the 16th president's tomb, climbed into the ordinarily restricted (and highly creepy) areas just above the grave-site's of Lincoln's wife Mary and three of their sons, took a midnight tour of the presidential library, were granted a peak into his highly-guarded vault and screened several minutes of footage from the film.
We will have an early look at the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter trailer, a "making of" featurette, video interview with director Timur Bekambetov and star Benjamin Walker, excerpts from our Q&A with Bekmambetov, Seth Grahame-Smith (Writer/Author), Walker and Jim Lemley (Producer) and a more detailed accounting of the event very soon.
In the interim, we invite you to imagine what a sequel to this seemingly one-off actioner would look like. Novelist and co-screenwriter Grahame-Smith has notably compared his re-imaging of our 16th President's history to that of a Superhero origin tale. Origin stories, by their nature, however, offer a vision of the hero-in-question's beginnings, but they do not offer an end. When Grahame-Smith was asked if this film would leave room for a continued exploration of the imagined world he answered thusly:
"The short answer is yes, absolutely. If you read the book there's an epilogue that leaves things open to that. In the film, without giving anything away, we don't definitively end the origin story. We leave, not only a mentor story, but also possibly a Lincoln story open."
Yet, we all know the facts of Lincoln's tragic end. So in what manner would this version of his life continue? At different points in the evening, the filmmakers asserted that there were several possibilities for a franchise.
Producer Jim Lemley followed up on Grahame-Smith's answer by saying:
"This is a struggle that was going on before Lincoln punctuated it, but it's probably going on now."
So perhaps we will see a sequel that takes the characters that are established in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and brings them into our present time? The author and director each stressed that this film bridges three worlds: the historical world, the fantasy world and our contemporary world. Now, that may not (and likely does not) indicate that our present day will be seen in this film. Indeed it likely means that the movie is aesthetically modern in its effects as well as visual palette - and, as Bekambetov reflected, an awareness that they are making the film "for a young audience." But there did seem to be an intent for us to understand that this was not a story that necessarily concludes with the credits.
Indeed, as Bekambetov asserts, when you engage in fantastically revisionist history all the rules change:
"The scary thing is that they can convert you. This is the scariest thing. Because we know that Lincoln was killed in the theater, but the whole movie you are afraid that they will bite him and we don't know who was killed in that theater, and how..."
Based on the filmmakers statements we must ask: Will we see some version of The Devil's Double in the time of the civil war? And will Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 2 ultimately be: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire?
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter opens in theaters on June 22nd, 2012.
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