June 25, 2012 | 5:00 a.m.

‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ delivers ‘violent ballet’

DF_35177 - Benjamin Walker stars as ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER.
Benjamin Walker was halfway through the production of his first feature as a leading man, but standing on the Louisiana set of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” last year, the star of the monster mash-up movie wasn’t ready to make any assumptions about his career’s future prospects. “Who knows?” the Georgia native said between takes of the Timur Bekmambetov-directed action thriller. “I’ll probably go back to waiting tables and begging the government for health insurance here shortly, but for now I’m in high cotton.” Walker’s pragmatism surely will serve him well, though it’s unlikely he’ll be waiting tables anytime soon. Critics haven’t been especially kind to “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” – reviews for the unusual slice of R-rated revisionist history have been largely tepid at best — and the film grossed only an estimated $16.5 million in its opening weekend. Yet the […]
April 19, 2012 | 4:23 p.m.

Johnny Depp: ‘Shadows’ star Jonathan Frid was ‘elegant, magical’

Jonathan Frid (featured image)
Johnny Depp said the world has lost “a true original” with the passing of Jonathan Frid, the darkly debonair Canadian actor who played vampire Barnabas Collins in the melodramatic and macabre soap opera “Dark Shadows.” Depp grew up as an ardent fan of “Dark Shadows” and that passion led to the film version remake, which reaches theaters May 11 with Depp as a key producer and also starring in the role made famous by Frid. Director Tim Burton also brought Frid and other original series cast members in for cameos in the movie, giving Depp a chance to share the screen with an idol of his youth. So as news spread Thursday that Frid had died late last week — on Friday the 13th, no less  –  Depp was balancing the bittersweet subplots of a life that could last 87 long years but […]
April 16, 2012 | 12:30 p.m.

‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’: Fake history, but an honest Abe

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (featured image)
The sun was just about to set over Lake Pontchartrain on a humid Louisiana day last May when Abraham Lincoln was summoned into action in a grassy field to wrestle to the hard, unforgiving ground the murderous nemesis who took the life of his mother years earlier. Lincoln bellowed with sorrow and rage, pinning an enemy beneath his considerable weight. This was not the weathered president struggling to bear up under the agonizing grief of a bloody and brutal Civil War. This was a young man primed for a fight to the death. Funny thing, though — no one in the assembled crowd of onlookers seemed to bat an eye that Honest Abe was facing off against a vampire. Such is the straight-faced approach to the somewhat ridiculous-sounding “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” Fox’s 3-D adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel due […]
Feb. 18, 2012 | 4:35 a.m.

Abraham Lincoln, America’s first superhero?

This Presidents Day, almost 150 years after his assassination, Abraham Lincoln is poised to become the breakout star of 2012. In June, he will fight the undead in a movie adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s bestselling novel, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” Later this year, Steven Spielberg will offer a more historically accurate – if disappointingly vampire-free – biography of Lincoln starring Daniel Day-Lewis. And (ahem) in my own upcoming novel, “Red, White, and Blood,” Lincoln gives advice from beyond the grave in order to save the current president’s life. But these are, honestly, just the latest additions on Lincoln’s post-mortal resume. Long before Paul Bunyan swung his axe or Superman battled Lex Luthor, Lincoln was America’s first superhuman. He’s partied with Keanu Reeves in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and fought alongside Captain James T. Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise. He […]
Feb. 17, 2012 | 3:08 p.m.

‘Vampire Diaries’: Daniel Gillies on why we love vampires

Daniel Gillies (featured image)
Daniel Gillies plays formidable Elijah foe-turned-ally in Season 3 of  “The Vampire Diaries.” After being resurrected for the fourth time in the series, Gillies shares his insights on the show’s star, Nina Dobrev, who plays small-town doppelganger Elena Gilbert, the future of the Original vampire clan and the classical nature of his character. But Elijah isn’t Gillies’ main focus — upcoming projects include the NBC medical drama “Saving Hope,” with “Smallville’s” Erica Durance and Michael Shanks, and a new film, “Broken Kingdom,” with Rachel Leigh Cook that he wrote and directed. This is Part 2 of an interview with Nardine Saad; you can read Part 1 here. NS: You say Elijah has been around for 1,000 years, yet he’s still getting duped by “ludicrous nothings.” Do you consider Elena  a “nothing?” DG: I’m certainly not calling Elena nothing. Yes, that instance […]
Feb. 16, 2012 | 1:45 p.m.

‘Vampire Diaries’: Daniel Gillies sinks teeth into Original vampire Elijah

The Vampire Diaries feature image -- Elijah
“The Vampire Diaries” has killed off quite a few of both its beloved and despicable characters in its three seasons on The CW, but one character whom executive producers Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson keep bringing back is the Original vampire Elijah, played by Daniel Gillies. Elijah has returned once again to Mystic Falls at the hands of vampires Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) and his brother Stefan (Paul Wesley) to defeat the indestructible supernatural Klaus (Joseph Morgan), Elijah’s Original vampire brother who also happens to be a werewolf hybrid. Now their fearsome Original vampire siblings, who were created centuries ago by their mother — the Original witch — to preserve their lives from a plague, are wreaking even more havoc in the spooky town. Elijah might seem to be on the side of mortal Elena Gilbert, played by the show’s […]
Jan. 21, 2012 | 1:01 p.m.

Kate Beckinsale: ‘Underworld’ role was a ‘personal experiment’

Kate Beckinsale (featured image)
It’s difficult to reconcile Kate Beckinsale, the slender, silky-voiced actress leaning gracefully on a coral chaise at the Montage Hotel, with Selene, the cold-faced vampire woman who blasts hot metal into the bodies of her werewolf enemies in “Underworld: Awakening.” In the film, which hit theaters Friday, Selene punches through somebody’s torso. In the Beverly Hills hotel on a recent January evening, Beckinsale absently tucks a soft curl behind her ear as she talks about diving into the vampires-versus-werewolves franchise for the third time. She emanates femininity. That’s how directors saw her a decade ago, when the “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Pearl Harbor” actress was turned down for parts because she appeared too innocent and soft. “I’d had some feedback from casting directors kind of saying, ‘We don’t know if we really want to see her for this part, […]
Jan. 18, 2012 | 5:27 p.m.

‘Blade’ reborn: ‘Lost’ star stakes claim to Marvel vampire hunter

Harold Perrineau’s showbiz odyssey has taken him from the stage (he was a dancer in the illustrious Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and appeared on prominent productions of “Dreamgirls” and “Fame”) to the big screen (he was Link in the “Matrix” trilogy and Mercutio in Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet”) to landmark television programs (Michael Dawson on “Lost” and Augustus Hill on “Oz”). Now Perrineau is the voice of the vampire-hunting title character in “Blade,” G4′s newest Marvel Anime project. Hero Complex writer Jevon Phillips caught up with the Brooklyn native. JP: What was your experience with Blade before taking the role? HP: I had only seen the movies. I was a big fan of the movies, especially the first two. I really loved watching Wesley Snipes being this bad-ass vampire slayer and vampire. That was all I knew him from. I didn’t know the […]
Dec. 22, 2011 | 11:40 a.m.

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ movie looking for new writer

Whit Anderson, Buffy (featured image)
That big-screen revamp of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” has been dealt a setback — it looks as though the movie’s first-time screenwriter bit off more than she could chew. Two sources close to the project say that the script submitted this past summer by writer Whit Anderson fell far short of expectations and, in the end, was rejected completely. That’s news that will spark celebration from some longtime “Buffy” fans who were less than thrilled by the prospects of a “Buffy” revival that didn’t involve Joss Whedon. Whedon, now directing “The Avengers” for Marvel,  himself took a few shots at the reboot project — although he did so with a sly wink. “This is a sad, sad reflection on our times,” Whedon said last November when that deal was announced, “when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youths […]
Dec. 01, 2011 | 5:04 p.m.

‘Vampire Diaries,’ CWingo make a game of seeking new viewer blood

The Vampire Diaries (Featured Image)
“The Vampire Diaries” fans have a new reason to sink their teeth into Season 3 reruns during the CW show’s mid-season hiatus. On Thursday, the network launches CWingo, an interactive game for fans to play along as they track the progress of the show. It’s like bingo with a social media twist, albeit without the smoky gaming hall or grandma and grandpa.  The game requires viewers to log into the CW community via Facebook on their smartphones, tablets or computers to get the game board and challenge friends to see who the bigger “TVD” fan is.  Each tile has a scene from the episode, and once it appears on TV, users click on it to move forward. See Damon take a bite out of someone’s neck? Check! See Stefan and Elena walk into Mystic Grill? Check! Or see Tyler Lockwood […]
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