“Underworld 5: Next Generation” lead star Kate Beckinsale has been officially announced to reprise role as the leather-clad vampire, Selene, for the next installment in the franchise.
Directing the movie is Anna Foerster, who has done second-unit work and was Roland Emmerich’s right-hand woman as the director of photography on such movies as The Day After Tomorrow and White House Down. This is the first time that a woman is directing the female-led action-horror franchise. (Her hire was made before Tuesday’s report by the ACLU that took studios to task about gender inequality in Hollywood.)
Cory Goodman wrote the script, whose plot details are being kept shut in a coffin but which is said to focus on a new and younger generation of vampires and werewolves who are locked in a seemingly never-ending battle between supernatural races.
Theo James, who appeared briefly in 2012’s Underworld: Awakening, is attached to reprise his character as he fulfills an option agreement.
The film begins production this fall in the Czech Republic capital of Prague which lends Underworld 5 for a late summer (August-September) release in 2016. Given the series’ historical release window of January however, it’s also possible extensive post-production and VFX work pushes it to January 2017. Since the director’s background in visual effects, that’s certainly possible – It just depends on how much of a budget the next Underworld has. The original was produced on the cheap for just $22 million but Awakening (which released in 3D) cost $70 million.
Underworld: Awakening brought Selene into the near future where the world had learned of and planned to eradicate vampires and werewolves. Its followup revolves around “a new and younger generation” of these monsters and continues their ageless war. Given the recent lack of major vampire/werewolf releases, at least theatrically, there’s an unfulfilled niche the studios are gunning for.