''Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'' comes swinging toward the big screen

By Anthony Breznican
February 10, 2012 at 05:00 AM EST

Historians know a great deal about Abraham Lincoln, but…could he throw a punch? This summer, the makers of the upcoming historical-fiction/horror mash-up Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter will attempt to answer that question. Based on the best-selling novel by Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) and directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted), the film takes its Civil War-era history seriously — even if it blames bloodsuckers for most of the conflict. The plot involves remorseful vampire Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper) teaching young Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) how to slay, which allowed stunt coordinator Mic Rodgers and fight coordinator Don Lee to incorporate fighting styles from all over the world. ”Henry has been alive for an extended period of time, fighting vampires on his own,” Walker explains. ”He’s a grab bag of what he’s found that works. So they were teaching me martial arts they were making up as we went.” As for tools, ”Lincoln also incorporates what he knows, which is his ability to wield an ax,” Walker says. ”He was the rail-splitter candidate, after all.”