Joaquin Phoenix the Frontrunner to Mentor Benjamin Walker in ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER

     January 31, 2011


We are now a few months removed I’m Still Here debacle, wherein there has been plenty of talk about Joaquin Phoenix’s return to acting.  Phoenix was linked to Hoover, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, and Big Shoe; only Big Shoe is still in play, and that project is four months in need of a status update.  The latest project hailed as the possible return of Phoenix is also the best: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

As far as I can tell, 20th Century Fox is simply trying to harness the crazy, offering Phoenix the role of vampire Henry Sturges, “a mythic, ageless figure who turns Lincoln into an axe-throwing expert slayer of vampires.”  Benjamin Walker (Flags of Our Fathers) was cast late last week as Lincoln.  More, including a synopsis, after the jump:

Deadline is careful not to call this one a done deal.  The role is “his if he wants it,” but the report cautions, “Phoenix is cagey and could decide not to go forward.”  Well… yeah.

I don’t think we, the public, will allow Phoenix to return with a more subdued film like Two Lovers and pretend nothing ever happened.  In that sense — the sense that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter will never quite sound like a real movie — this sounds about right.

Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) will direct and co-produce with Tim Burton and Jim Lemley (9).  Grahame-Smith adapted the screenplay based on his own book.  Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is scheduled for release June 22, 2012.

Here’s the book synopsis:


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. [Amazon]

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