Honest Abe Lincoln made quite the name for himself - born in a one-room log cabin to a poor family from Kentucky and eventually becoming the 16th President of the U.S.A. It is (ahem) now known that he was also skilled at killing blood-sucking immortals, as his secret diaries reveal in Seth Grahame-Smith's hit novel, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Timur Bekmambetov of Wanted and Night Watch fame is directing the big screen adaptation of Smith's novel, which could end up featuring Australian actor Eric Bana as the titular vampire-slaying American politician himself.
The Wrap says that Bana is scheduled to meet with Bekmambetov about the lead part in his Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter adaptation, which has already been scripted by Smith and is being produced by Tim Burton. Tom Hardy was previously approached to play the role of Henry Sturges - who, in Smith's book, is a vampire that saves young Lincoln's life and teaches him how to properly hunt and kill creatures of the night - but Bana is the first name to pop up as a serious contender for the part of the former President himself.
Fox has scheduled a summer 2012 release date for the film, which is budgeted at $69 million and will be a 3D affair. That hopefully means Bekmambetov will actually shoot Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in the 3D format since:
- There's not yet been a case in which a live-action movie converted to 3D during post-production looked more than adequate - generally the footage just appears blurred and muddled.
- Bekmambetov's previous films have all featured hyper-stylized action sequences and the kind of visual wizardry that virtually jumps off the screen in regular 2D - much less the third dimension.
Bana is no stranger to big-budget action fare, having previously starred in pics like Hulk, Troy, and last year's Star Trek reboot as well. While the actor does not hail from the U.S. himself, he does bear a slight physical resemblance to the 6' 4'' Lincoln - more so in terms of height (Bana is 6' 3'') than build. Donning the traditional Lincoln beard, top hat, and suit might give Bana more of the refined, stream-lined look that just about every picture and portrait of the real Honest Abe indicates he had.
London-born thespian Daniel Day-Lewis will play Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's upcoming biopic about the president, which will take far fewer (*cough*) creative liberties with the truth about the man's life than Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. We know Lewis can certainly look the part of the 16th President (he essentially already did in Gangs of New York), but perhaps Bekmambetov's Lincoln movie calls for a more (*double cough*) physically robust version of the man - one who seems capable of taking out powerful, supernatural monsters with pretty much his bare hands, that is.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is scheduled to attack theaters on June 22nd, 2012, so production will begin in the first half of 2011. Expect to hear a big name officially sign on to play the warrior U.S. President himself in the near future.
Source: The Wrap