Earlier this month, reports came pouring in that the latest novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, was going to be adapted to make a film, presumably by the same name, by none other than Tim Burton (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, Alice in Wonderland). Tim Burton was set to produce, while rumors circulated that Timur Bekmambetov was supposed to direct. However, it has now surfaced that neither Burton or Bekmambetov are directing, and neither one knows who will be directing the film in the first place.
Well, at least there’s some basic understanding on the subject of producers, if not the director. MTV News has more info, and exclusive chatter with author Seth Grahame-Smith:
“”I spent a couple months really pouring into the real history of Lincoln because I wanted as much actual, factual history in this book as I possibly could get in there,” he [Seth Grahame-Smith] said of his early writing process for the new novel. “There’s a lot of real Lincoln history in the book. His letters to people, his speeches, names, dates, places… as much as I could cram in. That was my goal.”
Unlike Grahame-Smith’s previous book, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” (also optioned for an upcoming film), “Vampire Hunter” is primarily a work of fiction layered on top of fact. An example he gives is Edgar Allen Poe, who factors into the book as one of the people Lincoln encounters.
“Poe and Lincoln [never met] in real life,” the author explained. “But Lincoln was actually a big fan of Gothic literature and a big fan of Poe. At one point in his life, he could quote the entire ‘Raven’ from memory. So that was kind of the inspiration behind adding Poe as a character. Lincoln was in Washington, D.C. and Poe was in Baltimore. It’s not that much of a stretch to me that they might have partnered up or at least met each other.”
For the movie, Grahame-Smith is mainly focused on writing right now. He’s not thinking about who could play what or anything like that, primarily because the freshly released book is still on his mind.
“It’s hard for to picture anybody playing the role [of Lincoln],” he explained. “I know eventually we’re going to have to cast somebody and I’m sure it’s going to be amazing, but in terms of specific actors it’s hard for me because when I was writing the book and when I’m writing the movie now, I can only picture the actual Lincoln doing all these things.”
“It’s still early,” he cautioned. “Right now I’m just worried about getting the script as polished as I can.” The only thing Grahame-Smith is really sure of for now is that this won’t be his directorial debut.
“There’s no official director on yet,” he revealed. “I think that this would not be a good first feature for somebody to come in and direct because it’s going to be a big movie, sort of an effects-heavy period movie. It’s definitely a little intimidating for a first-time director. I’m not ruling out doing stuff in the future but I want to give ‘Lincoln’ the best chance it has to be really polished and slick. I think putting it in a more experienced director’s hands is probably the way to go.””
Well, not to be pushy guys, but just pick somebody, okay? Seems like lately, decent genre films are falling apart over staffing issues; i.e., Jack & Diane, a lesbian werewolf movie that has so far, been through three different actresses for a female lead. Let’s just make the movie, and keep the deliberation to a minimum.