By Renee Lorenz Special to Published Feb 04, 2011 at 3:00 PM

The trouble with movies based on novels is there's almost always something that gets lost in translation from page to screen.

I understand that it's almost always unavoidable. Each medium has its own advantages for storytelling, so I can forgive (most) movies for working around a snag by taking the occasional liberty. They're both original works in their respective media, even if one is based on the other.

Most of the time I can get past my own nagging need to pit them against each other by reading the book after I see the movie, but I couldn't help myself with "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." I've been checking in on the IMDb entry for a few weeks now and have become completely engrossed in its development. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar, the story follows Abraham Lincoln from childhood and chronicles his secret life as -- like the title ever-so-subtly indicates -- a vampire hunter. 

The good news is the book's author, Seth Grahame-Smith, is writing the screenplay. This pretty much guarantees that even if the finished product isn't to the letter of the book, it'll still have the approval of its creator. 

Another promising point is its director. Timur Bekmambetov, who also directed blockbuster action flick "Wanted" and the lesser-known "Night Watch" and "Day Watch," can easily handle the combination of otherworldly action and stylized reality.

I'm curious, though, to see how they pull off such a long story arc. My guess is they'll have to rely on an introductory set-up and then skip straight to Lincoln's adult life, where most of the action goes down. I can't say I like the idea, but it would make the most sense. Otherwise you're left dividing screen time between two versions of the same character and risk alienating the audience by not giving them the chance to connect with either.

What's still up in the air is who will play Lincoln. Eric Bana was attached and left, which I'm fine with. I couldn't see him getting into the grittiness of the role. Josh Lucas was listed for awhile, but he's also gone.

The most consistent name has been Benjamin Walker, though he's still only attached. I like him for the part of Lincoln in the earlier years, and from what I can tell he looks promising for the role. If they go the direction I mentioned earlier, though, I don't know how much screen time he'd actually get.

Hopefully, this musical chairs game they're doing with casting pays off. Personally, I'd love to see Daniel Day-Lewis in the role. But since I don't have the ear of big Hollywood, I'll just have to resign myself to watching the actors shuffle in and out of position.

Renee Lorenz Special to

Contrary to her natural state of being, Renee Lorenz is a total optimist when it comes to Milwaukee. Since beginning her career with, her occasional forays into the awesomeness that is the Brew City have turned into an overwhelming desire to discover anything and everything that's new, fun or just ... "different."

Expect her random musings to cover both the new and "new-to-her" aspects of Miltown goings-on, in addition to periodically straying completely off-topic, which usually manifests itself in the form of an obscure movie reference.