Monday, September 27, 2010
KATE BECKINSALE AND "UNDERWORLD 4" ARE A GO
The first movie I remember absolutely obsessing over was the first Underworld. Kate Beckinsale on a mission to annihilate everything Lycan while looking oh so fine in skin-tight leather, prosthetic fangs, and colored contacts. My favorite thing about the Underworld films is the gorgeous cinematography, the scenes rich in cool colors and tones to set the mood for the dark tale. Of course the overall story boils down to vampires versus werewolves, but woven into the narrative are subplots like forbidden love, corrupt leadership, and an unfair class system. The aristocratic vampires initially held all the power over their counterparts using the werewolves as slaves to guard their holdings by day as the vampires slept.
Couple the immortal blood feud with Beckinsale, Michael Sheen, Tony Curran, Rhona Mitra, and Bill Nighy, and that spells instant success for a series. Unfortunately, the series featured the atrocious acting "talents" of Scott Speedman, detracting from the first two film's overall value. Interestingly enough, no actor listed above has appeared in all three Underworld movies. The first two films are sequential while the third is a prequel that profiles the story of Michael Sheen's character Lucian and his tragic tale of love with Sonja. I personally thought Underworld: Rise of the Lycans was solid (here is my full review) as Sheen got an opportunity to show off his leading man qualities.
With Underworld: Rise of the Lycans going the route of prequel and Beckinsale absent from the story, one would usually suspect the 37 year-old actress was done with the franchise. Apparently, that is not the case. CHUD has learned via a press release that Beckinsale will indeed return to the Underworld series for a fourth movie. Given the roles that she has chosen recently, it is no surprise she would be chomping at the bit to get a decent acting gig. The 2009 film Whiteout starring Beckinsale was one of the worst movies I have ever seen, here is the review if you are interested, and definitely did nothing to help her career.
Beckinsale's character Selene is said to play a smaller part in this movie as she passes the role of protagonist to her daughter. Selene having a child could also mean the return of the tool Speedman to the cast, but no word on his return has been announced. The script for the newest untitled Underworld was written by John Hlavin whose works include the television series' Trust Me and Golden Globe winner The Shield. Making revisions on Hlavin's screenplay is Changeling scribe J. Michael Straczynski. The project is still in need of a director as Len Wiseman will again be in the producer role and not the director's chair like the first two films.
Production is set to start March 2011 in Vancouver. The targeted release for the film is January 20th, 2012.
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