‘Underworld’ Sequel Gets New Lead

Since 2003’s debut of the Underworld franchise, Kate Beckinsale has always been the leading lady leading wielding two pistols, dressed in a skin-tight leather jumpsuit with a tough, no bs-attitude to match, but it looks like the creators are taking a new direction for the upcoming sequel. What started with a relatively small budget of 22 million dollars, actors unfamiliar with the action genre, and a female lead, the movie franchise is getting a soft reboot.

Tacking on a new writer and new male lead, newcomer and British actor Theo James is set to be the leading man for the upcoming reboot/sequel to the cult classic, multi million-dollar franchise. The 29 year-old, Oxford native is set to reprise his role as the vampire David, who helped Selene find her vampire/werewolf hybrid daughter, Eve, in Underworld:Evolution, and have the story continue to follow him during that time period.

Actress Kate Beckinsale is not scheduled to appear at all in the upcoming action-flick and is reportedly done with the series. No reason is given as to why Beckinsale chose to bow out of the series that made her a household name, but Lakeshore Entertainment still plans to continue without their iconic heroine. Many fans may recognize James from the previous film, while others may know him from his supporting role alongside Shailene Woodley in the Divergent franchise. The choosing of James as the new lead by the studio may not necessarily be a bad one. James already is known to a younger audience, has action-movie experience, and is already familiar with the franchise. The only problem that the creators may run into is continuing the story that the last movie set-up for viewers.

In the previous film, Underworld:Evolution, the protagonist, Selene (Kate Beckinsale), awoke in a cryogenically frozen tomb in a strange lab. Eventually escaping, Selene discovered that she was in a future where the human world found out about both vampires and werewolves and hunted them to the brink of extinction. Driven underground, Selene found the remaining vampire coven fighting for survival with David as the lead of their military force named The Death Dealers. During her journey to find her hybrid lover Michael, played by Scott Speedman, she discovered she had a daughter and unmasked a conspiracy within the same company that induced her frozen sleep. Towards the end of the film, Selene was unsuccessful in finding Michael but left with her daughter to continue the search and track down his whereabouts.

Considering where the series left off, it would have made sense that the studio continued to milk the over a decade-old Underworld franchise by continuing Selene’s journey to fight for survival. Unfortunately for fanboys, and some girls, the choosing of David’s story seemed more fresh and appealing. Some may be a little disappointed that the series will no longer use a female lead to tell the tale of the war between vampires and werewolves, but casting a new male lead is something that will possibly bring in some new fans. Although the series may be getting a soft reboot, hopefully new writer Cory Goodman (The Priest) will do it justice while, at least, providing great action. More details about the film are yet to be revealed as the studio plans to start production in the Spring of 2015.

By Tyler Cole

First Showing
The Hollywood Reporter

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