By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 10, 2011 at 8:34AM
Update: Variety reports that Dominic Cooper has also signed on to the film, in the key role of Henry Sturgess that was previously linked to Joaquin Phoenix.
The vampire killing version of Abraham Lincoln now has a best bud.
Deadline reveals that excellent "The Hurt Locker" star Anthony Mackie is in talks to join the film, taking the role of Will, the best friend of Abraham Lincoln, played by Benjamin Walker. The film is based on the book by Seth Grahame-Smith which is based on the faux diaries of the president given to the author by a vampire named Henry Sturgess. Sturgess saved Lincoln’s life when he battles a vampire as a teenager, and the two become fast friends. Sturgess teaches Lincoln about the history of vampirism, trains him in combat, and sends the president to hunt and kill evil vampires.
Joaquin Phoenix was recently listed as a frontrunner for the role of Henry, but word has been quiet ever since. But as for Mackie, we're thrilled he'll be in the picture. He's a solid thesp who will definitely bring some presence, and some color, to the picture and his star is certainly on the rise. He's got "The Adjustment Bureau" and "Real Steel" set to hit this year, and with 'Vampire Hunter' now in this pocket, he's making some solid moves into bigger pictures. But don't think he's left smaller pics behind as he's also got the thriller "Man on a Ledge" and the ensemble comedy "Ten Year" on the way too. Either way, we're glad to be seeing more of him.
Production starts soon on the Timur Bekmambetov-directed and Tim Burton-produced film which will hit on June 22, 2012.