Just last night, I read a review for Seth Graeme-Smith’s new novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which surprised me. I had no idea such a thing existed.
Last year, Graeme-Smith was the author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which I wanted to like. I think the idea of taking an older novel and playing with it is a fun one, and the notion of the cast of a Jane Austen book getting eaten by the undead is, frankly, heaven after all the adaptations of Austen I’ve sat through over the years. But in actual execution, I thought the book was kind of a drag, and I am amazed at the behind-the-scenes struggle between some wildly talented folks to be involved in adapting it. Maybe they’ll improve it. They’ll have to.
That book was an assignment from an editor, so Graeme-Smith can’t take full credit for the high concept idea. This time out, though, the idea was all his, so he’s got to be feeling good about the news that Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambatov, and Jim Lemley are all signed to produce a film adaptation, announced the same day that the book hits stores.
There’s something irresistible about the idea of a Civil War that was fought not only to free the slaves but also to quietly, secretly eradicate a vampire infestation of our young nation. There’s not a lot of Civil War-era horror out there, so it seems like fertile ground for them to do something fun and different.
I wasn’t a big fan of the animated film “9” that Burton, Bekmambatov, and Lemley produced last year, and I think it suffered from a problem that many Burton-associated films have… it looked great, and it was intriguing on the surface, but the script just wasn’t ready to be filmed. Let’s hope that they take their time, really work with Graeme-Smith to get the script right, and make something special.
And, hey, since it doesn’t look like Spielberg’s ever going to get to it, someone should ask Liam Neeson what he’s up to these days. I hear he’s got his Lincoln voice down cold, and after “Taken,” it’s obvious he could kick any vampire’s ass he had to.
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