Abraham Lincoln was secretly a vampire hunter? Only the detailed, imaginative mind of Seth Grahame-Smith could come up with a tale like this. He’s made a living from mashups, like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and the Dark Shadows.
Metro World News spoke to him about his inspirations and why he chose Lincoln as his “historical revisionist” project.
So, how do you come up with this stuff?
This idea specifically was a weird organic outgrowth of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I was going around the country promoting that in 2009, which was coincidentally the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth so every bookstore I’d go into no matter where it was in the United States, I’d see the same display of Lincoln books, biographies, things like that. And, then inevitably there would be the Twilight: True Blood table next to it. I started to draw the distinction of if everywhere you go there are vampire books right in front of the stores, and everywhere you go there are Lincoln books right in front of the stores. It stands to reason that…
Maybe Abraham Lincoln was a vampire hunter?
Maybe there’s something to combining them. It just began, a fun little game within myself imagining what it would be like. Would Lincoln be a vampire? I thought, “No that’s not really true to his ideals. He would be a vampire hunter. That got me interested enough to read about the real man, and when I started to read about the Lincoln legend I got hooked into it and started to see where all of the opportunities were to add the genre twist to it.
Abraham Lincoln is pretty well-known in the U.S.. What do you think international audiences can glean from it?
What we’ve made here isn’t so much a political movie about a president as much as a superhero movie. It’s a superhero origin movie really.
I think they would approach it as — I hope they would see it — whether they know much about Lincoln or not, he’s an interesting guy who lived in the 19th century who made himself into — and this is in real life too — made himself into something extraordinary.