Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a 2012 American fantasy action horror film directed by Timur Bekmambetov, based on the 2010 mashup novel of the same name. The novel's author, Seth Grahame-Smith, wrote the screenplay. Benjamin Walker stars as the title character with supporting roles by Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell and Marton Csokas. The real-life figure Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States (1861–1865), is portrayed in the novel and the film as having a secret identity as a vampire hunter.
In 1818, Abraham Lincoln lives in Indiana with his parents, Nancy and Thomas, who work at a plantation owned by Jack Barts. There, Lincoln rushes to the aid of his friend, a young black boy, William Johnson, being beaten by a slaver. Because of his son's actions, Thomas is fired. That night, Lincoln sees Barts break into his house and attack Nancy. She falls ill the following day, and dies shortly afterwards. Thomas tells Lincoln that Barts poisoned Nancy.
Nine years later, in 1827, a vengeful 18-year-old Lincoln tries to kill Barts at the docks, but Barts, who is actually a vampire, overpowers him. However, before Barts can kill him, Lincoln is rescued by Henry Sturges. Sturges explains that vampires exist, and offers to teach Lincoln to be a vampire hunter. Lincoln accepts and, after a decade of training, travels to Springfield, Illinois. During his training, Sturges tells Lincoln that the vampires in America descend from Adam, a vampire who owns a plantation in New Orleans with his sister, Vadoma. Sturges also tells Lincoln of the vampires' weakness, silver, and presents him with a silver pocket watch.
In Springfield, while studying to become a lawyer, Lincoln befriends shopkeeper Joshua Speed, and meets Mary Todd. Though Sturges warned him not to form any close relationships, Lincoln develops romantic feelings for Mary. He also meets Will Johnson, now a grown man, who needs legal help in confirming his free status.
Lincoln successfully finds and defeats Barts. Before dying, Barts reveals that Sturges is also a vampire. Lincoln confronts Sturges, who reveals that, several years ago, he was attacked and bitten by Adam. Because Sturges' soul was impure, he became a vampire, and that prevented him from harming Adam or any other vampire (since "Only the living can kill the dead"). Sturges has since been training vampire hunters, hoping to destroy Adam.
Disappointed, Lincoln decides to abandon his mission. However, Adam learns of his activities and kidnaps Johnson to lure Lincoln into a trap at his plantation. Adam captures Lincoln and tries to recruit him, revealing his plans to turn the United States into a nation of the undead. Speed rescues his friends, and they escape toOhio.
Lincoln marries Mary and begins his political career, campaigning to abolish slavery. Sturges warns Lincoln that the slave trade keeps vampires under control, as vampires use slaves for food, and if Lincoln interferes, the vampires will retaliate. After Lincoln's election as President of the United States of America, he moves to the White House with Mary, and the Civil War commences in protest over his election, spurred on by the vampires. While Lincoln is immersed in wartime administration, Vadoma infiltrates the White House disguised as a maid, and fatally bites his son, Willie. Henry offers to resurrect Willie as a vampire, but Lincoln refuses, despite Mary's pleas.
Confederate President Jefferson Davis convinces Adam to deploy his vampires on the front lines, and the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg goes disastrously for the Union. Lincoln orders the confiscation of all the silverware in the area and has it melted to produce silver weapons. Speed, believing that Lincoln is tearing the nation apart, defects and informs Adam that Lincoln will transport the silver by train.
On the train, Adam and Vadoma, who have set fire to the upcoming trestle, attack Lincoln, Sturges, and Johnson. During the fight, in which Speed is killed, Adam learns that the train holds only rocks. Lincoln reveals that Speed's betrayal was a ruse to lure Adam into a trap. Lincoln uses his silver watch and chain as a knuckle duster and kills Adam with it, and the three escape the train before it explodes. Meanwhile, Mary and Harriet Tubman have transported the silver to Gettysburg via the Underground Railroad. The now leaderless Confederate vampires stage a final, massive assault and are met head on by the Union. Armed with their silver weapons, the Union soldiers destroy the vampires and eventually win the battle. During that battle, Vadoma attacks Mary, who kills her.
Nearly two years later, on April 14, 1865, Sturges tells Lincoln that the remaining vampires have fled the country. Sturges tries to convince Lincoln to allow him to turn Lincoln into a vampire, so that he can become immortal and continue to fight vampires, but Lincoln declines. In modern times, Sturges approaches a man at a bar in Washington, D.C. as he once approached Lincoln.
- Benjamin Walker as Abraham Lincoln, a secret vampire hunter, who serves as the 16th President of the United States and the main protagonist.
- Lux Haney-Jardine as Young Abraham Lincoln
- Dominic Cooper as Henry Sturges, Lincoln's mentor in vampire hunting, a former vampire hunter, and a vampire who lost his wife and humanity to vampires.
- Anthony Mackie as William Johnson, Lincoln's earliest and closest friend.
- Curtis Harris as Young Will
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Mary Todd Lincoln, Lincoln's wife.
- Rufus Sewell as Adam, the 5000-year-old leader of an order of vampires.
- Marton Csokas as Jack Barts, a plantation owner and the vampire who killed Lincoln's mother.
- Jimmi Simpson as Joshua Speed, Lincoln's friend and assistant.
- Joseph Mawle as Thomas Lincoln, Lincoln's father.
- Robin McLeavy as Nancy Lincoln, Lincoln's mother.
- Erin Wasson as Vadoma, Adam's sister.
- John Rothman as Jefferson Davis
- Cameron M. Brown as William Wallace Lincoln, Abraham and Mary's third son.
- Frank Brennan as Senator Jeb Nolan
- Jaqueline Fleming as Harriet Tubman
- Alan Tudyk as Stephen A. Douglas, an American politician from Illinois.
The film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was first announced in March 2010 when Tim Burton and Bekmambetov paired to purchase film rights and to finance its development themselves. The book's author, Seth Grahame-Smith, was hired to write the script. Fox beat other studios in a bidding war for rights to the film the following October.
In January 2011, with Bekmambetov attached as director, Walker was cast as Abraham Lincoln. He beat Adrien Brody, Josh Lucas, James D'Arcy, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen for the role. Additional actors were cast in the following February. Filming began in March 2011 in Louisiana. The film had a budget of $99.5 million and was produced in 3D.