Count us in for this perfect casting on one of our most highly anticipated projects. Benjamin Walker has officially signed on to play the title role in Timur Bekmambetov’s “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”, reports Variety. 20th Century Fox was said to be keen on the Broadway veteran and film newcomer but continued testing other actors, as previously reported, Adrien Brody, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Josh Lucas, Timothy Olyphant and James D’Arcy. Walker’s deal closed late Thursday.
Walker will play the 16th President of the United States but with one giant twist. Adapted by Seth Grahame-Smith from his own novel of the same name, the story follows Lincoln throughout his life and keeps every major historical event intact but with this added motivation: Every action Lincoln takes, including starting the Civil War and ending slavery, is acted out of a desire to rid the world of vampires, one of whom killed his mother and his first love.
Walker has won raves for playing another President – Andrew Jackson – in the recently closed Broadway musical “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” and was signed on, then fired from playing Beast in Fox’s “X-Men: First Class” for being too old. He was replaced by Nicholas Hoult. It appears the relationship between the actor and the studio has been patched up now that they will team up on Abe, a project that would surely be an even bigger breakout role for Walker than X-Men would have been.
There is no word yet on who will play Lincoln’s vampire mentor, Henry Sturgess, though earlier reports said Fox was pursuing the now very busy Tom Hardy.
Tim Burton will produce the picture set for release on June 22, 2012.