Tis’ the season for conventions, and what do film makers do at Cons? Well, they don’t get their cosplay on and geek out over comics, no, they promote their films. That was the case at WonderCon 2012 this past weekend where the folks behind Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter showed new footage of the film and held a panel where they answered the crowd’s questions. Check out the panel recap below, but first, here is recently released second Abe Lincoln trailer!
Now for the WonderCon panel! The Abraham Lincoln panel started with Seth Grahame-Smith introducing a new sequence from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the film Grahame-Smith adapted from his novel of the same name. The virtually-wordless action sequence focused on the president (played by Benjamin Walker) on a train heading to the battle at Gettysburg and tormented by a horde of vicious vampires. The clip also featured two characters that Grahame-Smith later explained were created solely for the film: The film’s central vampire villain (played by Rufus Sewell) and Lincoln’s trusty right-hand man (played by Anthony Mackie). They all battle on the top of the train as it races over a wooden bridge that has been lit on fire, Lincoln using a handy contraption that’s half ax, half rifle. Gunaxe!
“So basically, just like we learned in school,” Grahame-Smith joked after the footage was over, right before welcoming director Timur Bekmambetov and star Benjamin Walker to the stage to take questions from the crowd.
Here’s the summary of the panel:
- When asked about how Grahame-Smith came up with the idea of combining Abraham Lincoln and vampire hunting, he joked that he just gets really drunk by himself and throws darts at a wall until he hits two words that are completely unrelated. Truthfully, he said that the idea came from a book tour he was on for his novel, ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.’ Since it was during Lincoln’s 200th birthday, book stores had Lincoln biographies on display, right next to displays of the Twilight novels. This triggered him to research Lincoln and mix vampires into the tale.
- Walker spoke on the Gothic tone of the film, and how strangely historically accurate it is (bringing up the unexplained death of Lincoln’s mother), calling it a “period Lincoln movie that just happens to have vampires in it.”
- When asked about how he felt about his role as Lincoln, Walker called it “badass” and added, “It’s an honor as an American. I want to know that my leaders are strong and can make tough decisions…and cut some heads off.”
- Bekmambetov, Grahame-Smith and Walker all chatted about Tim Burton’s support in wanting to take an aggressive, all-out approach on the film. Bekmambetov also said that while they changed a few things from the book, the overall tone of the novel and the structure around Lincoln’s life is still present.
- On vampire comparisons, Grahame-Smith said the following: “I’m not a Twilight-hater, but I’ll say this…our vampires don’t sparkle.”
- Bekmambetov also joked that it’s important to note that movie is being released on shortest night of the year. Adding that they worked hard to ground the vampires in reality, noting that the vampires could be seen during the day since sunscreen was invented in the 19th century.
- When asked if President Obama would make a good vampire slayer, Grahame-Smith responded smoothly that “he’s tall, he’s athletic” and could be ok. When asked what Obama’s weapon of choice would be, Walker cleverly quipped “Diplomacy. Maybe email.”
Haha. I wish I was at that panel, sounded like it was good fun and full of info.
What are your thoughts on the new trailer and the panel?