Late last month, word hit the wire that the Underworld franchise — already clocking in at an unexpected, but mostly profitable four features — was to get a brand new feature, maybe titled Underworld: Next Generation. Although the franchise has done a little time-skipping on the big screen and has gone back in time for a single sorta prequel, the majority of the films have focused on Kate Beckinsale’s Selene, a vampire bent on hunting lycans (those are werewolves, in case you’re not familiar with Underworld lingo). What then would Next Generation (if that is what it ends up being called) be about? Eh, kinda the same thing.
THR reports that the film is indeed a straight continuation of the franchise — no reboots or reimaginations here — but that it will shift focus to another character from the series: David, who starred in the fourth film, Underworld: Awakening. Theo James, who starred in the 2013 film, will return to reprise his role and will lead the feature as “the central character” in the rapidly expanding Underworld, uh, world.
Underworld: Awakening picked up after a global event (dubbed “The Purge,” so hello, possible crossover?) that saw the government going whole-hog on exterminating both vampires and lycans. Selene is one of a very small population of still-alive vampires, and when she busts out of the evil medical corporation Antigen, she is joined by another vampire: David. The pair embark on a journey that leads them to Selene’s hybrid daughter Eve, a major battle with the lycans (who most people assumed had been almost totally extinct since said Purge), and the discovery that Selene’s lover (and Eve’s dad) Michael isn’t dead. A lot happens, okay?
It makes sense that James would pick up with a continuation, as he served as the male lead of the last film and, oh yeah!, had an option on his contract that brought him back for more. James has been quite busy since Awakening, locking down a starring role in the popular Divergent series (which will end up clocking in at four films), along with roles in the currently filming features Franny and London Fields.
James will reportedly be joined by “two new female characters. Casting is underway for those roles, with plans to start shooting in the spring.” New? Really? How is it possible that Eve won’t be back for this one? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Cory Goodman is penning the film’s script, and the project is still in need of a director.
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