Kate Beckinsale is set to reprise her role as the vampire warrior Selene in Underworld 5. Anna Foerster (Outlander) will direct the film, making her the first female director to helm an installment in the female-led action franchise. Theo James, who appeared in 2012’s Underworld: Awakening, is also attached to star.
The script comes from Cory Goodman, and while plot details are currently under wraps, THR reports the film will focus on a new, younger generation of vampires and werewolves who are still locked in the seemingly endless war between supernatural races.
While “new and younger” often leads to pretty grim results, it’s interesting that Lakeshore Entertainment and Screen Gems are choosing to move forward with another sequel in the existing franchise rather than rebooting the whole thing altogether, as was reported back in 2014.
Given that Goodman is still scripting the film, Underworld 5 looks to be a soft reboot of sorts. With recent word of an Underworld TV series still on the table, it seems the studio is dedicated to creating the ever-popular “shared universe”. In this case, where there’s a standing franchise that has built up a pretty interesting mythology, I find that promising. It’s also promising that Beckinsale has agreed to return after previously stating it was “unlikely” she would ever do another Underworld film. Hopefully that means there’s a good script.
Of course, the most interesting and encouraging news about the future of the franchise is Foerster stepping into the role of director. She has a big action resume as a DP and special effects supervisor, working closely with Roland Emmerich on films like White House Down and 2012. The amount of female directors that get the chance to direct a big-budget action feature is devastatingly low, and it’s thrilling to see someone who’s paid her dues so thoroughly get her shot. Of course, as we’ve seen with Patty Jenkins on Thor: The Dark World and most recently Michelle MacLaren on Wonder Woman, these deals don’t always make it to production. Here’s hoping this one sticks.
Production is scheduled to begin this October in Prague.