Directors Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) are re-uniting to produce a film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s latest novel, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (the two previous paired to produce Shane Acker’s animated film, 9) For those who don’t know Grahame-Smith, he wrote Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which is currently getting the big screen treatment and is set to star Natalie Portman with David O. Russell (Three Kings) directing. Heat Vision Blog said Grahame-Smith’s novel got Burton and Bekmambetov’s attention in part because of an in-house trailer made to sell the book.
Grahame-Smith clearly has a gimmick of mashing up a period piece with a pop-culture foe (evil robots can’t be far behind for his next novel), and for now that’s working for him. But gimmicks aren’t stories. They’re hooks to get you into a story. Irony is great for t-shirts and bumper stickers, but it’s a slightly more difficult to wink for hundreds of pages. HVB says Vampire Killer, “will give new context to real historical events such as the Civil War and Lincoln’s ascension to the White House. It begins with his mother’s murder when he was still a young boy and his vow of revenge.” Perhaps the book is worth checking out, but I wouldn’t make a movie out of it simply because the trailer is cheeky.
You can check out the trailer for yourself after the jump along with the official synopsis.
Here’s the official synopsis for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which hit bookshelves today:
Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother’s bedside. She’s been stricken with something the old-timers call “Milk Sickness.”
“My baby boy…” she whispers before dying.
Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother’s fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.
When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, “henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose…” Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.
While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.
Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.