Underworld isn’t exactly what you’d call an old franchise, but that isn’t stopping the boys and girls at Screen Gems from giving it the reboot treatment.
Instead of, you know, actually taking the time to create an original property, producers are looking to take the Underworld concept and give it a fresh coat of cinematic paint. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this means taking the werewolves vs. vampires storyline and starting all over again. In fact, screenwriter Cory Goodman (Priest) was recently tapped to handle writing duties on the project. That’s all we know at this point.
For those who skipped this particular series, Underworld tells the story of a centuries-old battle between thuggish shapeshifters and aristocratic blood-suckers. Kate Beckinsale, decked out in tight-fitting leather, starred in three of the installments. The prequel, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, replaced the actress with lookalike Rhona Mitra (Doomsday). The films aren’t exactly life-changing or mind-altering experiences, but they’re a good way to spend a rainy afternoon if you’re like your action tinged with horror.
Cinema Blend points out that Beckinsale’s name isn’t attached to the new Underworld flick. However, if Lakeshore Entertainment is giving the franchise the full reboot treatment, chances are they won’t bring back the original stars. Which is a shame, really, considering a lot of the appeal was seeing Kate lay waste to werewolves while wearing leather.
It’s also unknown if Len Wiseman will return to direct the Underworld reboot. The filmmaker tackled the first two installments of the series, though he stepped aside for the last pair. The director’s most recent cinematic credit is the 2012 misfire Total Recall, a remake that shouldn’t really exist in the first place. Of course, this writer could fill an entire article about that particular motion picture, so we’ll just move on.
Oddly enough, Underworld: Awakening was a modest hit for Lakeshore Entertainment and Screen Gems. The $70 million action flick ultimately took home around $160 million worldwide during its theatrical run. This figure doesn’t include the cash it made on home video, which is where these sort of films tend to shine the brightest.
Personally, I can’t see this franchise moving forward without Kate Beckinsale. She’s the glue that holds this goofy concept together, much in the same way that Milla Jovovich is the reason Resident Evil works as well as it does. I may eat my words when and if the Underworld reboot reaches the big screen, but moving forward with this project without Beckinsale is a serious step in the wrong direction.
What do you think about the proposed Underworld reboot?
[Lead image via Screen Gems]