Thesp will star in summer tentpole for Fox

EXCLUSIVE: Benjamin Walker will play Abraham Lincoln in 20th Century Fox’s summer tentpole “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”

Five thesps had screen-tested over the last couple of weeks, including Adrien Brody, Josh Lucas, James D’Arcy and Oliver Jackson-Cohen. But as Variety first reported Thursday, Walker emerged as the front-runner, and his deal closed shortly thereafter.

Seth Grahame-Smith, who penned the tome which inspired the film, will also write the script. Timur Bekmambetov will direct and co-produce with Tim Burton and Jim Lemley.

Story revolves around the president’s quest to rid the world of vampires, presented as the real conflict behind the Civil War.

Lincoln would actually be Walker’s second unconventional presidential role. Thesp recently starred in “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” both on- and off-Broadway.

Film, set to be shot in 3D starting in March, is skedded for a June 22, 2012 release.

Walker is repped by WME and Inspire Entertainment.

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