[UPDATE: A new John Carter poster is now available for viewing.]

Today we have several images from two upcoming titles that (in different ways) straddle the often fine line between science fiction and fantasy: the sequel Underworld: Awakening and the literary adaptation, John Carter.

Kate Beckinsale’s icy blue-eyed vampire warrior gal, Selene, looks vivacious as ever while posing in black leather in the latest still frames released from the fourth Underworld flick. By comparison, the John Carter images offer some complimentary eye candy, in the form of the muscular (and often topless) Taylor Kitsch as the eponymous Civil War vet – along with some unusual creatures and alien airships from the film.

Underworld: Awakening

The latest chapter in the Underworld franchise picks up with Beckinsale’s Selene, who has been cryogenically frozen for some 12 years. She (what else) awakens to a world where vampires and lycans (ie. werewolves) are struggling to stay alive, now that humans are set on wiping the supernatural beings out. When a mysterious young girl is revealed to be the key to ending the war, Selene naturally takes it upon herself to protect the child… and, of course, kick some serious ass in the process.

Selene also (eventually) crosses paths with a mortal detective (Michael Ealy), who finds himself questioning which side of the war he should be on when it is revealed that humans are actively engineering a dangerous race of Super lycans.

Check out four images of Beckinsale and Ealy in Underworld: Awakening below:

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Moviegoers definitely know by now whether or not the Underworld movies are their cup of tea. The most recent trailer for the fourth installment painted it as being stylistically identical to its predecessors – albeit, with some 3D trickery (gimmickry?) thrown into the mix. So, if you’re the type who just wants to see Beckinsale in (and out of) a form-fitting catsuit as she slices, dices, and cracks the necks of her enemies, then Underworld: Awakening looks to provide you with everything that you desire.

John Carter

A full-length trailer for Finding Nemo and Wall-E director Andrew Stanton’s adaptation of Edgar Rice Burrough’s classic sci-fi series, John Carter, is due to arrive within the week. However, in the meantime, you can check out some of the film’s more alluring visuals – including those of a “Martian dog”, the green-skinned Tars Tarkas (played by Willem Dafoe, via motion-capture), and the humanoid Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) – in the latest still frames unveiled for the project.

Have a look at those John Carter images, following the plot synopsis below:

The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of [the Martian civilization] Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.

UPDATE: Now check out the latest poster for John Carter:

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While John Carter certainly looks like an imaginative sci-fi adventure, those who have never read Burrough’s early 20th century literature are (by and large) not yet interested in the film. That is partially due to the familiar nature of the storyline and characters retained from the project’s source material, which (to some degree) laid the foundation for many popular sci-fi franchises produced over the past hundred years. Hopefully, John Carter will be able to better distinguish itself from its peers and imitators (see: Star Wars, Dune, Avatar, etc.) by the time it actually hits theaters. Disney is certainly banking on that, given that the studio has reportedly invested well over $200 million into the project…

Underworld: Awakening arrives in 2D and 3D theaters around the U.S. on January 20th, 2012.

John Carter is scheduled to hit 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters in the U.S. on March 9th, 2012.

Source: Screen Gems, SFX, iTunes