In 2015, Seth Grahame-Smith is basically planning to rebuild your childhood.
The Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies author is also a screenwriter, producer, and soon-to-be director whose slate of projects reads like a list of dream properties for anyone who grew up in the ’80s or ’90s (and still is a kid at heart).
It’s also terrifying for him, since he tends to think the same thing fans are: Don’t screw these up.
A Beetlejuice sequel, a Ray Bradbury remake, a handful of Stephen King projects, and a pair of LEGO movies are just a few of the projects Grahame-Smith has in the works. When EW sat down to talk with him about his latest novel, The Last American Vampire, we also picked his brain for status updates on his film and TV work.
Here’s what he had to share.
THE LAST AMERICAN VAMPIRE
First up on his schedule is this sequel to to his 2010 history/monster mash-up Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The central figure in The Last American Vampire is axe-wielding Abe’s supernatural sidekick from the first novel, noble bloodsucker Henry Sturges, who leads readers through a post-Civil War chronology littered with corpses that—like the Confederacy itself—keep threatening to rise again.
“The germ of the idea was just wanting to know more about Henry Sturges, and the intervening years between 1865 and 1963, when we last saw them in the first book,” Grahame-Smith says. “What happened in that century? This book is the answer.”
From the lone-wolf slayings of Jack the Ripper to the mass murder and madness of Nazism and totalitarian Communism, every noteworthy act of cruelty, madness, or greedy thirst that can’t be slaked is revealed to be the handiwork of undead creatures. If that seems disrespectful, the author sees it as part of a long tradition of satire by way of horror. Anywhere society is inhuman, “we find vampires,” Grahame-Smith says. “It’s always been that way, ever since Bram Stoker. Or even back to the folk tales about vampires. They’ve always taken the place of other fears humans have, other evils.”
Status: The book hit shelves Jan. 13 and is available now. Check out the trailer above, at the very least for a very unconventional Mark Twain.
Some of Grahame-Smith’s other forthcoming projects are as a screenwriter; some are films or TV shows he’s producing with David Katzenberg, his partner in KatzSmith Productions. And one is the movie he hopes will be his directing debut. Here’s the rundown:
• Something Wicked This Way Comes
• Beetlejuice Sequel
• The Lego Batman Movie
• Stephen King’s IT
• Stephen King’s The Things They Left Behind
• Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
• Unholy Night
• Gremlins Reboot
• Night of the Living
• American Elsewhere
• The Day I Turned Uncool
• The Scorpio Races
• Two ?????? Projects
Next page: By the pricking of my thumbs …