Abraham Lincoln is one of the most revered figures in American history, if not the most. So it's a little disquieting that two Lincoln-themed films are scheduled for release in 2012. One, a straight-up biopic directed by Steven Spielberg with Daniel Day-Lewis playing Abe, seems to have attracted the best of the best in Hollywood and will probably be pretty decent. The other, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, well … the title says it all, doesn't it?

But Benjamin Walker, 29, who plays the 6-foot-4 Lincoln in Vampire Hunter, doesn't want people to write the film off as pure farce, even if the premise seems irreverent. "We do not turn Lincoln into a circus clown," Walker, a Juilliard-trained actor who happens to be Meryl Streep's son-in-law, told USA Today. "I'm from Georgia. That struggle of how the South is portrayed is a constant in my upbringing, and my antenna is very much alive."

Based on the Seth Grahame-Smith novel of the same name, Vampire Hunter follows the (fictionalized, duh) pursuits of a young Lincoln as he becomes inspired to be an abolitionist/vampire hunter after realizing that slave owners and vampires are one and the same. The novel and the cinematic adaptation have both reportedly been sanctioned by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, so the history in it is kind of legit — minus the bloodsucking, undead thing.

Walker is not wavering in his support of the film. After auditioning with a full-makeup rendition of the Gettysburg Address, beating out Adrien Brody for the role and dropping 30 pounds to approximate Lincoln's gangly stature, he said he wasn't going to watch the film make light of Lincoln's legacy. "It's about seeing Abraham Lincoln as a different kind of hero," he said.

The movie hits theaters June 22.

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