The Underworld franchise has seen its ups and downs since Len Wiseman and Kevin Grevioux debuted the first film over 10 years ago in 2003. The initial success of Underworld prompted a sequel, a prequel, and a soft reboot that further explored the mythos of Underworld’s vampire/lycan (werewolf) conflict. Recently, Lakeshore Entertainment announced another film, what was initially thought to be another reboot, with Cory Goodman (Priest, The Last Witch Hunter) attached to pen the script.
Although little was known about the untitled Underworld 5 at first, more details about the upcoming installment have surfaced, which include a returning character -- but not the franchise’s central figure, Kate Beckinsale’s Selene.
THR reported Theo James (Divergent) will reprise his role as the vampire David for the upcoming fifth chapter of the franchise. In Underworld: Awakening, David became Selene’s vampire ally as she united with her daughter and sought out the hybrid Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman).
Now, James’ David will be the lead in the upcoming installment, which will not be a reboot, rather Underworld 5 will expand upon the vampire’s story. James will be joined by two new female characters who will co-star. Casting is underway for James’ costars and filming is expected to begin in the spring.
James’ return to Underworld -- especially as the lead -- comes as a surprise given the franchise’s success rate with films not led by Beckinsale (even Michael Sheen couldn’t draw as many fans for Underworld: Rise of the Lycans). So, the most uncertain factor of Underworld 5 now becomes whether or not James can take the reins from Beckinsale without the dip in box office sales seen by Rise of the Lycans. According to Variety, Beckinsale will not appear at all in the new installment.
Since his stint in Underworld: Awakening, James has gone on to co-star alongside Shailene Woodley in one of the more recent blockbuster franchises born from YA literature: Divergent. Though the film may have been lacking in certain aspects, James was a high point and his performance should offer some hope to fans of Underworld that he may be able to lead the upcoming sequel and stand on his own.
Of course, the two female leads that will join James in Underworld 5 will be instrumental to the success of the movie. If these three characters don’t work well together or don’t create a compelling dynamic on screen, the film will rest on story or action set pieces, which may not be enough to draw viewers to the theaters. However, we can’t make any true predictions until more about the film is released.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more information on Underworld 5 as it becomes available.