Kate Beckinsale will be reprising the role of Selene in the next installment of the Underworld film franchise, according to the Hollywood Reporter. This will be the fifth installment of the vampire horror-action film franchise and will be titled Underworld: Next Generation.
In addition to Ms. Beckinsale’s return, the new Underworld sequel will also star Theo James. Mr. James will be returning as David, reprising his role from Underworld: Awakening.
Underworld: Next Generation will also introduce a new director to the franchise. The hiring of Anna Foerster to direct Underworld: Next Generation comes just after an ACLU allegation that Hollywood studios discriminate against female directors. Ms. Foerster’s appointment will establish the first time a woman has been chosen to lead a female-driven horror film franchise.
Foerster is fairly new to the director’s chair, though not entirely inexperienced. Prior to directing episodes of Outlander, Anna has been involved in second-unit work on various films and has been the director of photography on The Day After Tomorrow and White House Down.
The Underworld franchise began with 2003’s Underworld, a film that followed Ms. Beckinsale’s character, Selene, as she discovered the truths on which she’d based many of her beliefs were fabrications, sending Selene on a quest for justice and vengeance. This story was followed up in Underworld: Evolution (2006), which had Beckinsale’s character partnered with the half-lycan half-vampire hybrid Micheal (Scott Speedman), as the two sought the truth about the beginning of the war between vampires and werewolves.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009) was a unique deviation from the main story, instead focusing on the origins of the lycan clans and the feud between lycans and vampires. As such, Kate Beckinsale served as Selene in a limited capacity, narrating segments of this Underworld film and did not take on a major role in the story.
Underworld: Awakening (2012) saw the return to the present day and again starred Kate Beckinsale as Selene. This Underworld installment told the story of a new war, as the human race becomes aware of the immortals inhabiting their nighttime world and takes measures to eradicate both the vampire and the lycan clans. Thrust into the war, Selene leads the battle against the living human race.
Very little is known about Underworld: Next Generation at this time, except that it is being scripted by Cory Goodman. Entertainment Weekly reports that the new Underworld film will introduce “a new and younger generation of vampires and werewolves who are locked in a seemingly never-ending battle between supernatural races.”
Underworld: Next Generation will begin shooting in Prague in October.
[Featured image: Kate Beckinsale courtesy of Sony Pictures]