‘Rise of the Lycans’ Director Helming Angels vs. Demons Movie ‘New Babylon’

Published 12 months ago by

patrick tatopoulos directing new babylon Rise of the Lycans Director Helming Angels vs. Demons Movie New Babylon

Renowned creature designer and special effects artist Patrick Tatopoulos has worked on dozens of films: Stargate, Independence Day, Spawn, Total Recall, 300: Rise of an Empire, to name only a few. He’s also serving as production designer on the upcoming Batman vs. Superman.

And while he predominately works in visual effects and design, Tatopoulos took on the role of director for Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. The film was an unnecessary prequel in an already stale franchise, but it’d be unfair to lay all of its faults at Tatopoulos’ feet. Rise of the Lycans was in fact very similar in style and tone to the previous and better-received Underworld films. Yet, by 2009, audiences had already begun to tire of vampires and werewolves acting more like superheroes than monsters in visually desaturated, weirdly futuristic gothic movies like Queen of the Damned and Van Helsing.

The failure of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans hasn’t seemed to deter Tatopoulos’ from directing, however, as Deadline is reporting he’ll be helming a new, original science fiction/fantasy movie for Hydra Entertainment titled, New Babylon.

The film is set in the near future in the Middle East where a vicious war is being waged between angels and demons. Eventually, over the course of the film, a modern-day Tower of Babel is constructed, which may indicate New Babylon will revisit the original story of Babel from The Bible.

As told in the book of Genesis, man created the Tower of Babel to reach the sky – and in some versions, heaven – which invariably angered God. As punishment, man is spread across the globe and made to speak in different languages so that no such future cooperation could ever occur. Either a division over whether or not this was a just decision, or perhaps acting to stop a similar event from happening again, could be plausible scenarios for why the angels and demons are warring in New Babylon.

underworld 4 directors Rise of the Lycans Director Helming Angels vs. Demons Movie New Babylon

Whatever its full premise, the choice of Tatopoulos as director is a clear indicator of what kind of film New Babylon will be: visual effects and design heavy. Hydra Entertainment is a new development and production company that focuses on developing a film’s story and visualization simultaneously, so you can see how Tatopoulos fits nicely into their filmmaking strategy.

Hydra was started by previsualization firm, The Third Floor, along with Academy Award-winning art director Robert Stromberg (Alice in WonderlandMaleficent), production designer Dylan Cole (Avatar), and storyboard & comic book artist Mark Morretti. The concept for New Babylon came from Hydra co-founder Joshua Wassung and is being scripted by David LoPresti.

Tatopoulos sounds optimistic about New Babylon‘s potential, saying:

“We have some very ambitious ideas for the world, characters and story of this movie, and I can already see that the innovative virtual design and story development techniques being employed at Hydra are going to make all the difference in exploring those concepts and putting them on screen in a visually stunning way.”

Though, considering how badly I, Frankenstein tanked, audiences may still be uninterested in seeing supernatural creatures like vampires and demons as the stars of big-budget, high spectacle, action-adventure movies. If that’s still the case when New Babylon releases, they better hope their story is just as strong as their “ambitious” and “innovative” design.

What do you make of New Babylon? Interesting concept or another dud waiting to happen? Does their choice of Patrick Tatopoulos give you any hope for the project? Sound off in the comments below!


New Babylon has no release date currently.

Source: Deadline

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  1. WWAAAAHH! I wanna see Paradise Lost–but they cancelled it (Too expensive. I call “Nonsense”, if well-done it is not too expensive. Star Wars had alot of special effects, and lok how famous it became, with sequels, prequels, marketing and spin-offs). Well, what the heck, if the do this New Babylon, I will give it a watch. Angels and Demons duking it out? It’s just like Roller Derby without skates–what’s not to like?

  2. I hate to break it to you Sarah, but Rise of the Lycans was not a failure. It made around a hundred mil and brought in a box office that was tripple what it cost.

    It was treated at first like almost a straight to video sequel, which was why Kate Beckinsale wasn’t in it. When everyone realised they had a hit on their hands she came in and did the voice over for the movie. It also led to the original star coming back for another sequel afterwards.

    I don’t understand how you can say a movie that made three times it’s budget and did significantly well without it’s original star was a failure. That’s a contradiction and illogical. Rise of the Lycans was also praised by fanboys for it’s quality.

    • This was my favorite of the Underworld movies, although I do like some of the scenes in the second one as well. I never questioned its level of success, either.

  3. in my opinion rise of the lycans was by far the best installment of the underworld trilogy whilst i’ll easliy admit kate beckinsale looks amazing in leather but she is a terrible actor and not only was rhona mitra far better in the role as the female lead i also thought the film benefited from having michael sheen and bill knighlty as the main focuse instead of beckinsale and scott speedman who in my opnion cannot act.

  4. just to add the medieval tone and hand to hand combat worked way better than the tired old lets kill monsters with loads of cool gadgets and cutting edge technology.

  5. Sounds like a big CGI mess waiting to happen.

    • I was thinking the same thing…


    Oh, wait.

    No, it sounds interesting, lets just see how it pans out. I loved Legion too, that was a great Biblically influenced film of sorts.

  7. This could be great. Patrick has made really great design choices in the past. Plus a movie that has a war between Angels and demons could be great to watch.

    Also if this does well maybe Alex Proyas can finally bring out Paradise Lost. Plus Patrick could even work with Alex like he has in the past too.

  8. I don’t know what rock the writer of this article is or has been hiding up under, but URotL was not a “failure” and the franchise is not stale. Man, I wish these so called “writers” on these sites would stick to the facts. Sentences like “…The film was an unnecessary prequel in an already stale franchise…” are nothing more than over-inflated opinion sound-bites. WtF is she talking about? You want to know what’s unnecessary? All the over-winded hyperbole in this article. Note to self – stay away from this “writer’s” articles.

    • Except Sarah isn’t the first professional journalist/film critic/both that has said those things about ROTL and the Underworld franchise as a whole.

      In fact, other than the comments on this article, I’ve only ever read and heard negativity about it from hundreds, nay thousands of others online and in person.

      • “Yeah, right” and the sun is purple. Next you and this so called article writer are going to tell us that the Godfather is a campy b-movie.

        Umm, I don’t know what b.s. world you live in but critics praised Rise of the Lycans for the being the best in the series.

        Rise of the Lycans hands had the best director, an actual actress that can act and an award winning leading man. It’s a rare quality action movie.

  9. I don’t know if i’ve ever read a funnier sentence than “critics praised Rise of the Lycans for the being the best in the series”. No, they didn’t. Nobody praised it for anything, maybe they thanked God that it wasn’t as awful as the previous ones, but they did not praise it. “Critics are praising being punched in the face as not being quite as bad as being kicked in the swingers”. Underworld is shamefully bad, and this one sounds like it’ll be another stinker. Reading the headline for this story i wondered who actually wants rubbish like this to be made, now i have my answer.