While Hon­est Abe may not have bat­tled the un­dead, as shown in Abra­ham Lin­coln: Vam­pire Hunter, some facts of his life sparked the film­mak­ers’ imag­i­na­tions.

Albuquerque Journal - Parade - - PERSONALITY -

Lin­coln’s farm-tested physique had su­per­hero po­ten­tial. “At 6-foot-4, he was a strong gi­ant,” says Seth Grahame-Smith, who adapted his novel for the screen.

“Rail-split­ter,” a po­lit­i­cal nick­name and the ba­sis for Lin­coln’s every­man ap­peal, was a nod to his hum­ble roots and knack for split­ting logs with an ax.

He lost many loved ones dur­ing his life but was es­pe­cially shat­tered by the death of his 11-year-old son, Wil­lie (right), from a mys­te­ri­ous ill­ness, which his­to­ri­ans be­lieve was ty­phoid.

Lin­coln’s an­ti­slav­ery sen­ti­ments were likely stoked by watch­ing a slave auc­tion dur­ing a trip to New Or­leans at age 19. To match Lin­coln’s lean frame, ac­tor Ben­jamin Walker shed 30 pounds; the 30-year-old wore pros­thet­ics to age him­self for Abe’s

later years.

That ax gets some Bond-wor­thy up­dates for the film: The blade is coated with sil­ver for vam­pire-slic­ing ef­fi­ciency, and it can also turn into a gun.

Wil­lie is the vic­tim of a vam­pire as­sas­si­na­tion plot. The film­mak­ers used the boy’s death to put their hero “in the deep­est hole pos­si­ble,” says Grahame-smith. While vis­it­ing the Big Easy, Lin­coln dis­cov­ers that many slave own­ers are vam­pires look­ing

for an easy source of blood.

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