CinemaCon Exclusive Video Interview with Timur Bekmambetov


Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov is no stranger to vampires and the supernatural, having first gotten acclaim here in the States for his Russian blockbusters Night Watch and Day Watch. After directing Universal’s action hit Wanted a few years back, Bekmambetov is back this summer with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, based on the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, and going by the title alone, this is clearly not the typical, traditional vampire movie anyone has come to expect over the last few years.

In fact, it’s a movie that takes the actual history of our 16th President and extrapolates that a lot of the pivotal moments in his life could have involved an ongoing battle with the vampires that killed his mother. When you take that idea and cross it with Bekmambetov’s penchant for crazy, kinetic action and also the movie being in 3D, you certainly have potential for a vampire movie like no other.

Earlier this week, ShockTillYouDrop had a chance to talk with Timur shortly after he was presented with the “International Filmmaker of the Year” at CinemaCon at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, and in the video interview below, this is what we discussed (after a bit of back and forth about how hard his name is to pronounce):

* How this vampire movie differs from the “Night Watch” movies
* Talking about the concept of making a historical vampire movie
* Keeping the historical aspects of the book
* We ask about the MPAA rating (which hasn’t been reported) and he tells us “this is not a vampire movie for girls” and that they’re going for the full-on gore factor of an R-rating
* Combining his kinetic action style into a period setting
* Talking about the 3D and what that brings to the way Lincoln kills vampires with his axe
* The decision to convert to 3D instead of shooting that way
* Shooting on digital instead of film
* If there’s room for two Lincoln movies in the same year (Steven Spielberg is making one, too, but leaving out the vampires and action)
* Whether he feels his movie is a summer underdog and how he likes challenging himself
* He wants to make a movie about Thomas Edison, but that won’t be a traditional biopic either
* Why he’s attracted to American history and literature, having been attached to versions of “Moby Dick” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”
* Whether there’ll ever be a “Wanted” sequel, which he jokes as being “too challenging”; he says there’s a script though he’s not sure when and how it could happen
* His collaborative relationship with Tim Burton, who produced the movie and presented him with his CinemaCon award

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter opens on Friday, June 22