Female-led action films are a hot topic in 2016 following Charlize Theron's Furiosa becoming the breakout character of Mad Max: Fury Road, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story introducing the franchise's second female protagonist just one year after Rey began her journey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But amid big-budget fare, it's important to pay respect to two reigning champions of the action/horror genre: Kate Beckinsale's Selene and Milla Jovovich's Alice, the respective protagonists of the popular and long-running Resident Evil and Underworld franchises.
Both franchises (and their lead stars) are set to return to theaters soon, and now we have learned that Screen Gems, the studio behind both Resident Evil and Underworld, is planning to promote the upcoming sequels at New York Comic Con.
In a press release from Screen Gems, the studio announced that it will bring presentations for both Underworld: Blood Wars and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter to NYCC, along with select stars and filmmakers, for a joint panel sure to be a hot ticket among genre fans attending the big show. Here's the official word:
“Underworld: Blood Wars” star, Kate Beckinsale will be making her first New York Comic Con appearance along with her co-star Theo James (The Divergent Series) and director Anna Foerster. For “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter,” the conclusion in the blockbuster franchise, returning stars Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter, new cast member William Levy (one of People en Español’s reigning 50 Most Beautiful People), and writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson will be in attendance. Both films will participate in panels on Friday, October 7th at 1:30pm at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
The studio also released a new synopsis for each feature in tandem with the announcement, which may prove helpful to fans looking to refresh themselves where the series each left off - particularly in Underworld's case, since the last installment was several years ago and a dense, time-hopping mythology has been a hallmark of the franchise:
Underworld: Blood Wars” follows Vampire death dealer, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) as she fends off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her. With her only allies, David (Theo James) and his father Thomas (Charles Dance), she must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice. The movie opens nationwide on January 6, 2017. The film was directed by Anna Foerster, screenplay by Cory Goodman and Jayson Rothwell, story by Cory Goodman, and based on characters by Kevin Grevioux and Len Wiseman & Danny McBride.
In “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter,” Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what wasmeant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where thenightmare began – The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering itsforces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse. The film was written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. It opens nationwide on January 27, 2017.
In addition to being noteworthy for featuring female genre-movie leads at a time when this was not entirely common, the two franchises also share the coincidence of each having been (originally) collaborations between husband and wife filmmaking teams. Jovovich's husband Paul W.S. Anderson is returning to direct Resident Evil, while Blood Wars will be helmed by franchise newcomer Anna Foerster.
Underworld: Blood Wars opens in theaters on January 6, 2016, followed by Resident Evil: The Final Chapter on January 27.