Benjamin Walker, as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, walks softly but carries a © 2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Property of Fox. ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS: TIMUR BEKMAMBETOV (Director, Producer) was born on June 25, 1961 in the city of Guryev, in the former Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. At the age of 19, he moved to Tashkent, in the former Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic, where in 1987 he graduated from the A.N. Ostrovsky Theatrical and Artistic Institute with a degree in theater and cinema set designing. Between 1992 and 1997, Bekmambetov was one of the directors of Bank Imperial’s popular World History commercials. In 1994 he founded Bazelevs Group, an advertising and film production, distribution and marketing company. Bekmambetov's first feature, “Peshavar Vals” (1995), aka “Escape from Afghanistan,” was a violent and realistic look at the war between Russia and Afghanistan. The film was dubbed in English and released directly-to-video by Roger Corman in 2002. Bekmambetov next produced and directed an eight-part miniseries for television entitled “Our ‘90s.” He then returned to directing features, with the Roger Corman-produced “The Arena” (2002), a remake of the 1974 film of the same name. In 2002, Bekmambetov directed and co-produced (with Bahyt Kilibayev) the film “GAZ-Russian Cars.” In 2004, Bekmambetov wrote and directed “Night Watch” (2004), a Russian fantasy film based on the book by Sergey Lukyanenko. The picture became Russia’s then highest-grossing release ever, making US$16 .7 million in Russia alone, more money than “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.” Bekmambetov then wrote and directed the sequel, “Day Watch” (2002). The two films attracted the attention of Fox Searchlight Pictures, which paid $4 million to acquire worldwide distribution rights (excluding Russia and the Baltic States). Bekmambetov followed up “Day Watch,” with the smash hit “The Irony of Fate-2” (2007). This sequel to a famed Soviet film is one of the most successful in Russian history, second only to “Avatar” for total box office receipts. Bekmambetov's Hollywood directorial debut, “Wanted” (2008), an action blockbuster about a secret society of assassins, was based on a comic-book miniseries of the same name written by Mark Millar. Bekmambetov has also produced a number of films in the U.S. and Russia, including “9” (2009), the story of a rag doll in a post-apocalyptic world, directed by Shane Acker and produced by Bekmambetov, Tim Burton and Jim Lemley. Bekmambetov produced the Russian language action movie “Black Lighting” (2009), with Universal Pictures. In 2010, Bekmambetov produced and was one of the directors of “Yolki,” a.k.a. “The Six Degrees to Celebration,” which became the second highest grossing Russian film. In February 2011, Bazelevs released the Bekmambetov-produced “Vykryutas” (a.k.a. “Lucky Trouble”) starring Milla Jovovich and Konstantin Khabensky. Last year, Bekmambetov produced “Apollo 18,” a found-footage science fiction thriller, and “The Darkest Hour,” a science fiction film set in Moscow, produced by New Regency. Bekmambetov received the International Filmmaker of the Year Award at CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theater Owners, held April 23-26 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
20th Century Fox, Abraham Productions, Bazelevs Production, Tim Burton Productions' Fantasy, Horror, Thriller directed by Timur Bekmambetov starring Benjamin Walker "Abraham Lincoln", Dominic Cooper "Henry Sturges", Anthony Mackie "William Johnson", Mary Elizabeth Winstead "Mary Todd Lincoln", Rufus Sewell "Adam". Screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith and Simon Kinberg. Based on the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith. Produced by Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov, and Jim Lemley. Executive Producers: John J. Kelly, Simon Kinberg. Director of Photography: Caleb Deschanel, ASC . Costume Designers: Varvara Avdyushko, Carlo Poggioli. Music by Henry Jackman. RELEASE DATES: 8 AUGUST 2012 (FRANCE) / 22 JUNE 2012 (USA)
There are few secrets between Abraham and his über-nemesis Adam, the chief of all vampires. The first of his kind in existence, Adam, played by Rufus Sewell, is a creature of almost limitless power. Author-screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith, who created the character especially for the film, as its central villain, was attracted to the idea of someone who has existed for untold millennia. “I wondered what it would be like to live for hundreds of thousands of years – to have been around since the building of the pyramids,” says Grahame-Smith. “What kind of personality would emerge from that eternal existence?” Adam is a warrior, leader, politician and pragmatist. With his aristocratic bearing and Southern plantation home, Adam is like a malevolent Rhett Butler – a mix of elegance and menace. His goals, says Tim Burton, are in some ways quite relatable. “If you cast off your moral assumptions, then all Adam wants is a place where he and those like him can call home. He wants freedom for his kind, but of course that comes at a horrible cost for so many.” Adam hopes that Abraham will become a formidable ally, instead of a deadly foe. “Adam, with all his abilities, is a politician and pragmatist, much like Abraham himself,” notes Sewell. “And the wonderful thing is, he gets a chance to meet with Lincoln, warrior-to-warrior, and in a way, president-to-president, because Adam sees himself as the leader of a kind of vampire nation. Adam doesn’t use force against Lincoln, not at first, because he’d much rather have Lincoln on his side.” Abraham absolutely rejects Adam’s overtures for an alliance, and so must face the vampire’s full fury. “Adam can transition from an erudite, sophisticated and cultured ‘man’ to a creature capable of tearing your head off and sucking your lungs out through a hole in your throat,” says Sewell. Adam commands nothing less than a vampire army, and his chief lieutenant and bodyguard is a gorgeous vampire named Vadoma, played by Erin Wasson. Wasson characterizes Vadoma as “a woman of few words, and an assassin. She and Adam make a good team.” Vadoma is a fearsome soldier but her uniform is far from traditional Confederate Army issue. Instead, the sexy vamp favors a leather corset – her armor, of a kind – as well as a long, high-collared jacket. “She can also be one of the [vampire] guys,” adds the actress. Vadoma, Adam and Abraham are the key players in one of the film’s biggest set pieces – a showdown at Adam’s plantation, where Abraham takes on dozens of vampires in a dizzying, dazzling dance of hand-to-hand (and axe-to-head) combat. Bekmambetov calls it a “waltz of death” because the action explodes in the midst of a party whose guests are…slowly dancing. The contrast between the scene’s genteel opening and its dark, edgy and violent conclusion is subversive. “The battle has incredible energy and velocity, and challenges what you think you know about big movie fight scenes,” says Lemley. “It starts off like something from ‘Gone with the Wind,’ and then people are flying around a room, vampires are jumping off ceilings, and heads are being lopped off.” The plantation melee is just one of several big action scenes, which also include a Civil War battle that sees Union soldiers overwhelmed – in shocking ways – by their Confederate foes who are more than what they seem. Additionally, there’s a stampede unlike any you’ve experienced before, where Abraham finally exacts vengeance on the vampire, Jack Barts, who killed his mother. Atop and across the backs of a thousand charging horses, Abraham runs, jumps, and fights, in a fast and furious battle against his powerful nemesis. The scene is a marvel of visual effects wizardry, overseen by visual effects supervisor Craig Lyn and Weta Digital, the house responsible for the groundbreaking VFX on “Avatar” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” among other notable titles. Abraham is many years older and well into his presidency when he makes his last stand against his vampire foes in and on top of a train speeding to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – and the Civil War’s defining battle. For this gravity-defying action sequence, the filmmakers built a full-sized and faithfully recreated locomotive and tender. Here, too, the magic of the digital world gave Bekmambetov the necessary tools to bring his unbridled imagination to life. These action/fight/stunt scenes were born not in Hollywood, nor in the production’s home in New Orleans, but thousands of miles away, in Kazakhstan, home to fight choreographer Igor Tsay and his Acting School of Fighting Kun-Do. There, Tsay and his team storyboarded the elaborate action sequences, which were pre-visualized and further developed in Moscow. In the weeks leading up to production, famed stunt coordinator Mic Rodgers (“Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “Wanted,” “The Fast and the Furious”) and fight coordinator Don Lee (“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”) worked with Walker to transform the actor into a battle-hardened, axe-wielding hunter of the undead. Walker’s grueling regimen included kicking, stretching, yoga, boxing, and endless hours training with Lincoln’s vampire-slaying weapon of choice: a specially tweaked axe. Walker more than impressed his trainers. “Ben is a stud and one of the best actors I’ve ever worked with,” says Rodgers. “We mixed the worlds of slick Hong Kong-style martial arts with bareknuckle brawling, and Ben stepped up in every way.” The modest actor will only claim that, “Well, I hit myself in the head a lot with the axe.” The axe and many of the other props were the work of property master Guillaume DeLouche, who put together his own facility and brought to the production the last remaining craftspeople of their kind who specialize in historically correct manufacturing of axes, knives, guns and rifles. All weapons were built using methods identical to those employed in the 19th century. Abraham’s axe itself is an engineering marvel capable of transforming into a gun. It was hand-forged by a gunsmith and bladesmith, and custom made with a hickory handle. “We took everyday objects of that era and gave them a twist,” says Tim Burton. “Everyone is familiar with muskets, bayonets and axes, but nobody had thought of turning them into a single weapon.” Home to the production was the grand, resilient and historic city of New Orleans, some of whose well-preserved homes and buildings date back 150 years. The Louisiana metropolis is rich in vampire lore -- it is home to Interview with a Vampire (and its many sequels) author Anne Rice – and, says Jim Lemley, “there’s something fascinating and edgy about New Orleans.” François Audouy designed the production, grounding the film in historical reality while providing majestic and richly textured sets, including the aforementioned Southern plantation and locomotive hurtling to Gettysburg. Another key figure in bringing Lincoln’s world to life is legendary cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, ASC, a five-time Oscar®-nominee for his work on such films as “The Natural” and “The Right Stuff,” and whose many other notable credits include the luminous “The Black Stallion” and “Being There.” Using the “new” to capture the “old,” Deschanel employed digital photography and high-tech Arri Alexa camera to give the film the proper period look. “Timur and I wanted to make a movie about some real historical events, so we looked at a lot of photos from that period,” says Deschanel. “In most of those old photos everything is perfectly in place, but we decided to give the cinematography a certain roughness, with more imperfections than perfection.” Deschanel’s painstaking methods produced magical, if sometimes delayed results. Benjamin Walker remembers, “I’d be sweating in my [old-age] makeup and prosthetics, and Caleb would be worrying about an unlit candle. And I’m thinking, who cares about the candle? And then you’d watch the dailies, and go, oh my god, that candle makes the scene. I’m transported to a different world and time. It’s only happenstance that there are vampires there.” The combination of rich period atmosphere, a unique perspective on our 16th president, and the army of the undead he’s hunting, makes for a motion picture experience like no other. For the writer who gave birth to it all, Seth Grahame-Smith, the film’s release caps a journey that began with his best-selling book. A key element in capturing Lincoln’s personality was making sure his humor came through. “He could be the life of the party, and was an exciting and entertaining man,” Grahame-Smith sums up. “I think he’d love our movie.” “I always enjoy exploring something new with each film, something I haven’t seen before,” adds Jim Lemley. “Even though it’s a little bit crazy, the film stays true to the essence of the man.” More than anything, ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER springs from the essence of two filmmakers – Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov – who are masters at looking at something in ways never before imagined.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER 20th Century Fox, Abraham Productions, Bazelevs Production, Tim Burton Productions' Fantasy, Horror, Thriller.
Museum Event #1 Benjamin Walker "Abraham Lincoln" (VO)
Museum Event #2 Timur Bekmambetov (Director) (VO)
Museum Event #3 Seth Grahame-Smith (Writer) (VO)
Museum Event #4 Lincoln Tomb Talent Tour & B-Roll (VO)
Museum Event #5 Lincoln Vault Tour (VO)
Museum Event #6 Museum Talent Tour (VO)
Museum Event #7 Museum B-Roll (VO)
Museum Event #8 Q&A with Seth Grahame-Smith (Writer), Timur Bekmambetov (Director), Benjamin Walker (Actor, Abe) and Jim Lemley (Producer) (VO)
Museum Event #9 On making a 3D movie (VO)
FEATURETTE #1 "Secret Life" (VOSTFR)
FEATURETTE #1 "Secret Life" (VO)
FEATURETTE #2 "Origins Of A Superhero" (VO)
FEATURETTE #2 "Origins Of A Superhero" (VOSTFR)
FILM CLIP #1 "Real Power" (VO)
FILM CLIP #2 "Waltz of Death" (VO)
FILM CLIP #3 "Train Escape" (VO)
USS Abraham Lincoln Visit #1 Benjamin Walker "Abraham Lincoln" (VO)
USS Abraham Lincoln Visit #2 Anthony Mackie "Will Johnson" (VO)
USS Abraham Lincoln Visit #3 Erin Wasson "Vadoma" (VO)
USS Abraham Lincoln Visit #4 Seth Grahame-Smith (Author/Producer) (VO)
USS Abraham Lincoln Visit #5 Timur Bekmambetov (Director) (VO)
USS Abraham Lincoln Visit #6 James Lemley (Producer) (VO)
USS Abraham Lincoln Visit #7 B-ROLL PART #1 (VO)
USS Abraham Lincoln Visit #8 B-ROLL PART #2 (VO)
MUSIC VIDEO Abraham Lincoln & Linkin Park "Powerless" (VOSTFR)
INTERVIEWS #1 Benjamin Walker & Anthony Mackie (VO)
INTERVIEWS #2 Rufus Swell, Dominic Cooper and Mary Elizabeth Winsted (VO)
INTERVIEWS #3 Tim Burton (VO)
SETH GRAHAME-SMITH (Screenwriter, Executive Producer, Author) is well known as the author of the New York Times best-selling novels Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is also being made into a feature film, which Grahame-Smith is scripting. This year, he co-wrote the screenplay for director Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows,” which brings the cult classic series to the big screen, featuring an all-star cast, led by Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham Carter.Grahame-Smith most recently published Unholy Night, a thrilling adventure surrounding the three wise men of the nativity, which he plans to adapt for the screen. Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg formed a production company KatzSmith, which is currently developing a diverse slate of new projects for film and television. They co-created, wrote and executive produced “The Hard Times of RJ Berger,” a coming-of-age scripted television comedy for MTV. Grahame-Smith and Katzenberg met while working in Digital Media at CBS. They were both independently hired to write and produce on “Clark and Michael,” starring Michael Cera and Clark Duke and have been collaborating ever since.
Copyright © 2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Dune Entertainment III LLC in all territories except Brazil, Italy, Japan, Korea and Spain.
FEATURETTE #3 "Comment devenir Chasseur de Vampires" (VOSTFR)
FEATURETTE #4 "Inauguration du Manoir de Paris" (VF)
FILM CLIP #1 "The Pharmacist" (VOSTFR)