Trailer for Tim Burton's "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"

Here's a trailer for Tim Burton's forthcoming adaptation of the satirical horror novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Hard to tell how Burton will play it -- it will be tricky to maintain the relevance of the fact that the action hero is also Honest Abe without obliterating suspension of disbelief, since each reminder of this fact is a bit jarring in the context of a fun/funny horror romp.

Here's the Onion's Sean O'Neal's thoughts:

Adapted from the monster mash-up novel from Seth Grahame-Smith, the forthcoming film from Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov and producer Tim Burton obviously gets fairly tongue-in-cheek with its alternate U.S. history—the kind the liberal-run schools are too afraid to teach you—but it's not like you’d necessarily know it from this teaser.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)


  1. Tim Burton didn’t write or direct — he’s just producing (or as they call it in Hollywood when a producer attaches himself to a project just to help it get made, shepherding).  Calling it “Tim Burton’s ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” in the headline here is a stretch even for those who aren’t offended by the use of possessory credits (which is controversial in itself).  And asking “how Burton will play it” is just the wrong question. 

    That said, the movie looks fun!  Can’t wait to see how Simon Kinberg (the talented screenwriter) and Timur Bekmambetov play it.

    1. I am peeved at Timur Bekmambetov for failing to finish his Nochnoy Dozor trilogy.  He has no business directing other films while that languishes in development hell.

      1. Totally. Though you can’t always blame the filmmaker for projects languishing in development hell… usually that’s the studio’s fault. (Though I’m not sure in this case.)

        1. From what I understand, the reason that he hasn’t made he next movie is because he doesn’t want to work for a ‘Russian’ production company ever again.

          I say ‘Russian’ not because that is his choice of word, but due to my ignorance of what to refer to the area that I only ever remember as being the U.S.S.R.

      2. Was he ever planning on going further in the series? 

        The stories in the first book can largely get someone involved on their own, but later in the books you need more of the back story. 

        Unfortunately I don’t think that the series has the momentum to get 8 or so movies made for it and enough people to watch all 8 like Harry Potter in order to follow the story (at least without butchering some of the stories).

  2. Bekmambetov  has good track record in the phantasy genre with the Night Watch, esp. the mixing of contemporary Hollywood action/horror with elements of Slavic folklore and the noire atmosphere reminescent of the works of Bulgakov or Kafka or others early XX century European writers. He got “softer” in the sequel, though.

    1. It’s not a Tim Burton-directed or written movie but that doesn’t mean it won’t suck. The Boinger didn’t post this right.

    2. Big Fish was decent, but Tim always does better when he’s not playing in someone else’s sand box (i.e. Beetlejuice GOOD, Batman I/II RANCID PILE OF SHIT).

      1.  I didn’t see the second one but I thought the Batman film with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson was quite good (but then I’m not a comic book reader or fan). And it isn’t as good as the original Superman film, which is my favorite superhero film.

        But, I liked it more than any of the recent superhero films (or the 90’s superhero films), not that they’re all terrible (I liked Watchmen and, of course, the Nolan-directed Batman films).

        I agree with your point overall, though – Burton’s best films are the ones that are his original stories, and many of the other films he’s done I think are awful.

      2. I’m sorry, but you’re so wrong it’s crazy. Burton’s Batman was a ‘rancid pile of shit’?!! That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s a brilliant film that redefined the comic book movie. You wouldn’t have Batman Begins without Burton’s Batman. Nicholson and Keaton have more personality in their little fingers than Bale or Ledger have in their entire careers. Please don’t discuss things you have no idea about.

      3. burton directed beetlejuice; he didn’t write it. actually, he doesn’t really seem to write much of anything. nightmare before christmas was only based on an idea he had and he didn’t even write or direct it either.

    1.  If they’re dry & brittle enough, I guess you could get an effect like that. Or if you’ve got a Halo-style Gravity Hammer…

    1. What? The MPAA is the trade association that gives movies their ratings (PG, R, etc.) and lobbies Congress for stuff.  They have nothing to do with actual filmmakers. 

  3. What? No! This looks awesome! Sorry it doesn’t slot onto your particular traintracks of how a movie goes, but … actually, not sorry. Go, you revisionary historical mash-uppers, you!

    1. The problem is that very often awesome concepts are often marred by poor execution.  We get wonderfully vivid concepts that are smudged and drained of colour by the popcorn-industrial complex, who are looking for a blockbuster with universal appeal rather than a niche market like geeks.

      (That said, I can think of a few counterexamples: Hot Fuzz, for example.)

  4. spoiler:   Nathan Bedford Forrest makes a cameo as the wolf-man (ok ok… for those under the age of 17… “Lycan” (…Colorado!))

  5. It looks like fun. To hell with maintaining suspension of disbelief, it’s a vampire movie!  And Honest Abe kicking undead ass? I’m there!

    1. Since I posted that comment, I have an obnoxious Tea Party ad in the margin telling me how to avoid Obama’s Army of Snoops and Asset-Grabbers! WTF? It’s teh conspiracies!!1!

  6.  It’s not a Tim Burton movie, he is only a producer, which really just means he is providing the money and the contacts for the people actually doing the work. They are advertising it with his name on it because Timur Bekmambetov isn’t that big in America yet and no-one will pay as much to go and see it if it’s advertised as Timur Bekmambetov’s Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.

    In truth, it’s kind of a risky property for a movie studio to push and I can see why they want the bigger name attached to it. It’s the same sort of shit they pulled with Nightmare Before Christmas, which was really Henry Selick and the talented animators and artists working with him. The only thing that Burton really contributed there was some basic concept art.

    Also, am I the only one who hates Tim Burton’s artwork? I look at it and feel that his stuff is a cruder version of the genius stuff that was being put out by Edward Gorey.

    1. Agreed on all accounts.  I’m glad Burton is merely the producer, and I hope he didn’t have a lot of influence over Bekmanbetov’s style (which seems much more suitable for this material).

      I’ll never forgive Burton for his absolutely horrible Apes ‘reimagining’.

    2. That’s the problem with majority of movie goers, they only know mainstream, which usually blows, and because people keep seeing bad movies, Hollywood keeps making bad movies and recycling stories to death.  There are less and less small local theatres which play foreign as well as old films, because there are less and less people going to see them.  I will probably see this eventually, but only because it involves Timur Bekmambetov,  plus I like a certain kind of vampire movies, though I don’t know if this will be one of those.  I’m still hoping Dusk Watch will happen.

  7. I watch this trailer while wearing my Woot t-shirt depicting Abe Lincoln fighting three bears.

    I *am* the target audience for this movie and I can’t wait for it to hit my local dodeca-plex

  8. Watching the trailer, my disbelief became unsuspended when I saw the Washington Monument apparently complete in Abe Lincoln’s time.

  9. Hearing about the book didn’t move me one way or another, but I do likes me this trailer.

    Isn’t the J.C. voice-over from the same track that was used in the fast-zombie Dawn of the Dead?

  10. Okay, everybody’s jumped on the Tim Burton misattribution, but I also feel compelled to point out that Sean O’Neal writes for the AV Club, not its sister publication The Onion.

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