When Len Wiseman's Underworld debuted in 2003, it launched an action horror franchise rooted in a world where vampires and werewolves called Lycans had been at war for centuries. Additionally, Underworld made Kate Beckinsale a bonafide action star as the vampire Death Dealer Selene who specializes in killing Lycans. Wiseman followed up Underworld with 2005's Underworld: Evolution, which saw the return of Beckinsale as Selene. Then, the series debuted a prequel in the form of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, foregoing the inclusion of many stars of the previous installments.
The fourth film, Underworld: Awakening, returned the series' focus to Selene, who awoke in a futuristic world where humans had discovered the existence of vampires and Lycans. Now, a fifth movie in the franchise is set to debut -- Underworld: Blood Wars -- and new character posters tease the returning vampires as well as the new Lycan foe.
MoviePilot released a batch of four character posters that put the focus on Selene, her vampire ally David (Theo James), David's father Thomas (Charles Dance) who betrayed Selene in Awakening, and the new Lycan enemy of Blood Wars, Marius, played by Outlander's Tobias Menzies. Each character additionally has their own tagline: “Protect the bloodline,” “Claim your legacy,” “Prepare for battle,” and “Fight for power,” respectively. Take a look:
These images seem to carry over the wintry setting from the first poster for Underworld: Blood Wars, which featured Selene alone. But, all of these characters were featured in the first trailer for the fifth Underworld movie, which debuted earlier this fall. Given what we saw of in the trailer, Selene, David, and Thomas will ready the remaining vampires for an all-out war against the Lycans led by Marius in Blood Wars.
Now, considering these character posters were released shortly before the Screen Gems panel featuring Underworld: Blood Wars at New York Comic-Con, it's likely fans will get to see more footage from the film this weekend, likely in the form of another trailer. Though, if footage is shown at NYCC, it remains to be seen how soon it will be made available online.
The Underworld series has never been particularly well-liked by critics -- the original 2003 film has the highest Rotten Tomatoes score at 31 percent -- but it has maintained a dedicated fan following nonetheless and become a successful franchise at the box office even if it doesn't quite compare to blockbuster superhero universes. So, with a solid fanbase and Beckinsale returning to her role as Selene, Underworld: Blood Wars seems primed to be another successful entry in the series.
Underworld: Blood Wars opens in U.S. theaters on January 6th, 2017.