If you remember your middle school history American history classes, Douglas and Lincoln held a series of public debates over the issue of slavery as part of a Senate campaign in 1858. While Lincoln lost the Senate election, the debates raised his profile on the national level to the point where he was a viable candidate for President in the 1860 election.
And who did Lincoln defeat in the presidential election of 1860? Yes, you in the back with your hand raised? That’s right – Stephen Douglas.
In the book and film’s ersatz take on history, vampirism is used as a metaphor for slavery. As Lincoln is obviously anti-vampire, this casts Douglas being pro-vampire.
Now if you’re thinking that Tudyk doesn’t look anything like Douglas, you’d be correct. Then again, Mary Elizabeth Winston doesn’t look anything like Mary Todd, Lincoln’s future wife, but that didn’t stop her from landing the role in this film either.