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20th Century Fox’s rather hush-hush production of Timur Bekmambatov’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has made it a big wild card for this summer's movie slate. Yes, it has one of the most evocative titles in recent memory, but remember when everyone got super excited for Snakes on a Plane?
We got our first good glimpse from the set of "AB:VH" last week, but stills don’t really do the film justice. Remember, this the movie that reimagines one of America’s most beloved leaders as having secretly battled vampires from youth to presidency. As if to end hand-wringing anticipation over whether the guy who did Wanted turned what sounds like an Internet meme into a saleable product, Fox has released an official trailer.
The results are—interesting. Rather than embracing the inherent goofiness of the title, the trailer plays like one for a gothic superhero movie. We meet Abe, a mild-mannered kid from Kentucky, mourning the death of his mother and spending way too much time in moon-lit swamps. But when he dons his stovepipe hat and wields his trusty axe, he turns into Abraham Lincoln, savior of the common man and all-around badass.
Benjamin Walker as young and old Lincoln is the focus of the rather brief first look, though with no dialogue, it’s hard to judge how he’s handled stepping into the shoes of The Great Emancipator. Instead, Bekmambatov’s eye for visuals will be the big takeaway for most, including a nice looking sequence of Abe and a buddy trying desperately to catch their train.
There’s definitely a mood established by the trailer, but it doesn’t address the undead elephant in the room: the vampires. Sure, the shots of Lincoln practicing axe-kata and getting his wirework on let you know that this isn’t the most historically accurate biopic out there, but those unfamiliar with the source material might be surprised that it’s vampires who will be menacing Honest Abe, with the subtitle being the only real solid evidence. Expect more fangs and stakes in the marketing ramp up for the film’s June 22 release.