Last year’s Underworld: Evolution was given an old-fashioned reaming by critics when it reached theaters — but between box office and rental receipts, it’s grossed over $100 million, so it comes as no surprise that we’ll soon be treated to Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans.
As Variety reports, Underworld 3 will be helmed by well-known monster creator and first-time director Patrick Tatopoulos, “who developed the creatures for the first two films in the franchise,” and will be produced by series creator Len Wiseman. Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy, and Rhona Mitra are attached to star, and the screenplay — written by Danny McBride — will take viewers back in time:
Prequel story traces the origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires known as Death Dealers and their onetime slaves, the Lycans. In the Dark Ages, a young Lycan named Lucian (Sheen) emerges as a powerful leader who rallies the werewolves to rise up against Viktor (Nighy), the cruel vampire king who has enslaved them. Lucian is joined by his secret lover, Sonja (Mitra), in his battle against the Death Dealer army and his struggle for Lycan freedom.
Wiseman’s enthusiasm for the Underworld franchise remains undimmed by the critical brickbats. Variety quotes him as saying:
“For the first time we will experience the ‘Underworld’ universe through the eyes of the Lycans…Patrick has always played such an essential part in helping to create ‘Underworld’ from the start…So I feel it is both exciting and fitting that (he) now takes the helm.”