By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 1, 2011 at 3:46AM
The Gig Is His... If He Wants It Apparently
With Benjamin Walker now cast as Abraham Lincoln in the Timur Bekmambetov directed and Tim Burton produced "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" the next big part to be filled is that of the president's mentor and teacher in the story. And it's certainly a juicy role. 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. And now a pretty interesting name is being linked to teach the former president how to kick vampire ass.
Deadline reports that Joaquin Phoenix has met on the project and that the role is his if he wants it. So basically this is an offer story with just a bit more meat on it's bones than usual. Of course, Phoenix was last seen in the underrated and frequently uproarious mock doc "I'm Still Here" which kind of flew over everyone's heads as they scrutinized the life out of the movie -- an irony, given the point of the film. Anyway, Phoenix has pretty much stayed out of big franchise pictures for his career so it's interesting to see him kicking the tires on this one, but it's not the only film he's showing interest in.
Just last week, James Franco named Phoenix as one of many potential cast members for "As I Lay Dying," a film he says he plans to lens this summer. Clearly, Phoenix has some options. If we had to guess -- and given his general disinterest in doing the whole press/promotion thing -- we'd wager he's leaning more toward the Franco vehicle than the vampire flick. But that said, dude has gotta eat and he needs a comeback and a fang-bearing vampire with attitude could be a smart way to do that. A quick bit of trivia: the part was offered to Tom Hardy back in the fall but obviously his commitment to "The Dark Knight Rises" got in the way.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out but we'd guess a decision will need to be made soon. "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" is already scheduled for June 22, 2012 and production is likely gearing up to start soon.