'UNDERWORLD 3' Gets Theatrical Run

Kate Beckinsale is absent from the next Underworld film, Rise of the Lycans, but producers are confident enough to send it cinematic.
When Lakeshore Entertainment first greenlit Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, one big question mark arose and hung over the film for some time: Would it go theatrical or straight to DVD?

On Sunday (13 January), Lakeshore head Tom Rosenberg settled the question for FROSTY at Collider.

"It’s a theatrical release definitely," said Rosenberg. "I feel great about that. I think it’s the strongest story that we’ve put together of the three. I think it’s really terrific. I think it leads to a fourth."

While a big-screen release for Underworld 3 isn't really a surprise, talk of an Underworld 4 might make some fans blink. Those who've followed the franchise closely from the beginning know that the creators had originally envisioned a trilogy, which Rosenberg confirmed in the cited interview. But then he went a step farther.

"The third is a prequel, so the fourth would carry on where Kate [Beckinsale] and Scott Speedman (right) left off after 2," he said.

However, ShockTilYouDrop wonders if, after the prequel, moviegoers will care to return to that love story, and "more importantly, will Beckinsale and Speedman?"

BRAD BREVET at RopeOfSilicon just shrugs that off. "The Underworld franchise has actually grown on me to the point that I really enjoy watching either of the first two films, which means I am excited for whatever else they are going to churn out."

Directed by Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard), the first two Underworld flicks centered on the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires known as Death Dealers and their one-time werewolf slaves, the Lycans. At the climax of Part 1, it was revealed that Vampire King Viktor (Bill Nighy, Pirates of the Caribbean, left) had tortured and killed his own daughter, Sonja, in order to punish the rebellious Lycan, Lucian (Michael Sheen, Blood Diamond, top), for instigating a slave uprising.

Rise of the Lycans returns to that period in the Dark Ages, focusing on the antagonism between Lucian and Viktor, and the woman most precious to both, Sonja (Rhona Mitra, Shooter, right).

"This is told from the werewolf’s perspective, not the vampire’s," said Rosenberg. "It’s their story and their battle with Viktor."

With such forceful and talented actors, plus at least three series veterans (including Shane Brolly as vampire lieutenant Kraven), it should be an interesting film for fans. But, as those fans know, this story won't have a happy ending.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is directed by FX guru Patrick Tatopoulos from a screenplay by series writer Danny McBride.

[Thanks to Bloody-Disgusting for the link.]
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