REAL vs. REEL
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.
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
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.