Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
|Underworld: Rise of the Lycans|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Patrick Tatopoulos|
|Produced by||Len Wiseman
|Screenplay by||Danny McBride
|Story by||Len Wiseman
|Based on||Characters by
|Narrated by||Kate Beckinsale|
|Music by||Paul Haslinger|
|Editing by||Peter Amundson
|Distributed by||Screen Gems|
|Running time||92 min.|
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (also known as Underworld 3) is a 2009 American film directed by Patrick Tatopoulos. It is the third (chronologically, the first) installment, although a prequel to the previous two, in the Underworld series, focusing primarily on the origins of some characters and the events leading to the Vampire–Lycan war, depicted in the previous films Underworld and Underworld: Evolution.
The film tells the story of Lucian (Michael Sheen), the first werewolf able to take human form and to be called a Lycan. Viktor (Bill Nighy), an elder vampire, raises the child. Viktor kills Lucian's werewolf mother but envisions a race of Lycan slaves for his clan that could keep guard during the day and be used as laborers by the vampires. As Lucian grows up, he and Viktor's daughter Sonja (Rhona Mitra) fall in love in their adult years, though they keep their relationship hidden. Lucian eventually rescues Sonja from werewolves. Viktor, despite acknowledging that Lucian saved his daughter, feels betrayed by him and locks Lucian away.
With the help of the scheming vampire Andreas Tanis (Steven Mackintosh), Sonja orchestrates Lucian's release in exchange for her seat on the vampire council. Lucian escapes after liberating other Lycans. Sonja remains behind, but Viktor discovers her relationship with Lucian and imprisons her. Lucian recruits humans and werewolves to form a force against the vampires. The vampire nobles demand that Viktor recapture Lucian.
Lucian learns about Sonja's imprisonment and eventually rescues her from the vampire fortress but they are attacked by the Death Dealers. Sonja confronts Viktor and informs him that she is pregnant with Lucian's child. Disgusted, Viktor overpowers her and imprisons both her and Lucian. Sonja is sentenced to death at a trial presided over by her father and the council and is executed.
Later, Lucian tries to escape the fortress but his attempt is stopped by Death Dealers; Lucian then summons the freed Lycans and werewolves, who both attack the fortress. Lucian penetrates Viktor's head with a sword and lets Viktor's body fall into a nearby body of water. Lucian declares this victory to the surviving Lycans, werewolves, and freed slaves as the beginning of what will become a war between the races. Subsequently, Viktor enters a hibernation chamber on a boat.
The film ends with the opening scene of the first Underworld installment, with the voice of vampire Kraven (Shane Brolly) revealing to Selene (Kate Beckinsale), the first and second installments' once-human vampire protagonist whose human family was killed by Viktor who then turned her into a vampire and raised her under the delusion that the murder was committed by Lycans, the identity of her family's actual murderer and that the latter spared her own life because she reminded him of the executed Sonja; Selene dismisses Kraven's statement as a lie.
- Michael Sheen as Lucian
- Rhona Mitra as Sonja
- Bill Nighy as Viktor
- Steven Mackintosh as Andreas Tanis
- Kevin Grevioux as Raze
- Craig Parker as Sabas
- David Aston as Coloman
- Elizabeth Hawthorne as Orsova
- Larry Rew as Kosta
- Jared Turner as Xristo
- Timothy Raby as Janosh
- Tania Nolan as Luka
- Kate Beckinsale as Selene
||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Underworld (film series)#Production. (Discuss) Proposed since October 2011.|
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2011)|
In September 2003, shortly after the release of Underworld, production companies Screen Gems and Lakeshore planned to release a prequel as the third film following Underworld's sequel, Underworld: Evolution. Kate Beckinsale, who portrayed Selene in Underworld, expressed interest in reprising her role for the sequel and the prequel.
In December 2005, Underworld: Evolution director Len Wiseman explained that the Underworld franchise was originally conceived as a trilogy. Wiseman said, "We sort of mapped out an entire history and story... a massive collection of ideas and stories that we're putting out at certain times." Wiseman anticipated creating a third installment for the franchise based on the audiences' reception of Underworld: Evolution, which would be released the following month.
In a June 2006 interview, Wiseman said, "The third film is going to be a prequel. It will be the origin story and we find out things we didn't know about Lucian; he'll have a much bigger part in it. It will be about the creation [of the races] and what started the war. It will be a period piece. The movie will also focus for the first time through the Lycans' point of view." The director also shared, "In terms of the writing, a lot of the writing has been done. We've been developing Underworld 3 for a while. I won't be directing Underworld: Rise of the Lycans; I'm just going to be producing and writing." When asked if Kate Beckinsale would reprise her role as Selene in the prequel, Wiseman said, "It will be in the time period before, but it will overlap into the creation of her as well. We're in the process of seeing how far we go with that." The following October, actor Michael Sheen, who portrays Lucian in the film series, expressed interest in being part of the prequel.
The Hollywood Reporter announced that the film would be written by Danny McBride and mark the directorial début of Patrick Tatopoulos, who designed the creature effects for all three Underworld films. Len Wiseman would produce, and contribute to the writing of this film, but would not direct, nor would Kate Beckinsale reprise her lead role of Selene nor would Scott Speedman reprise his role of Michael Corvin. In late September 2007, Outlander scribes Dirk Blackman and Howard McCain were brought on board and delivered a draft on November 3, mere days before the Writers Strike of 2007. Pre-production began shortly thereafter.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans was distributed to 2,942 theatres on its opening day (23 January 2009) in the United States and grossed an estimated US$8,050,000, debuting at number 1 at the box office. On its opening weekend, the film was ranked second at the box office behind Paul Blart: Mall Cop with $20.7 million, which is lower than the amount earned by Underworld and Underworld: Evolution ($21.8 million and $26.9 million respectively) on their opening weekends. 59% of the audience at the premiere was male, while 55% was over 25 years old. Overall, the limited day-and-date launch of Rise of the Lycans in the week ending 23 January 2009 accumulated $3.5 million in two dozen markets outside the US, at 455 theatres, a third of which was earned at the Australian box office. In the United Kingdom, the film was distributed to 339 theatres and obtained $1.4 million at the box office on its opening day, ranking as the second best opener of the week behind Valkyrie. As of 26 April 2009, the film has grossed an estimated $45,802,315 in North America and $91,085,163 at the box office worldwide.
The film received mostly "mixed or mediocre" reviews. According to the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, as of January 2012, 30% of critics gave the film positive reviews based on 77 reviews. However, viewers on the website were more positive, rewarding the film an 68% "Fresh" rating. Most of the acclaim is attributed to Michael Sheen's performance. At the website Metacritic the film has received an average score of 44, based on 14 reviews. Joe Leydon of Variety gave a positive review, stating that director Patrick Tatopoulos "offers a satisfyingly exciting monster rally that often plays like a period swashbuckler" and that the film is "notably less frenetic (and appreciably more coherent) than its predecessors". He also praised the lead actors for their performances. Leydon described Rhona Mitra's performance as "more than adequate" but says that "her Sonja never achieves the pop-icon impact of Beckinsale's Selene"; he felt that Michael Sheen "hits all the right notes in a star-powered performance that will amuse, if not amaze, anyone who only knows the actor as Tony Blair or David Frost", and that Bill Nighy "offers a sly and stylish turn as Viktor". Similarly, Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter stated that the film "rises to the occasion" and that it "finds more life left than would be expected in the darkly stylized if dramatically flawed vampires vs. werewolves saga." He credited this to the "sturdy performances" of Sheen and Nighy and the "tidy, unfussy direction" by Tatopoulos. Also giving the film a positive review was Claudia Puig of USA Today, who thought that the film was "surprisingly campy fun, mostly succeeding through the power of its lead performances".
Manohla Dargis of The New York Times commented that the film "offers few surprises other than Mr. Sheen's vigorous, physical performance", articulating that Sheen is "the movie's greatest asset" and that his commitment to his role demonstrated that there is "some benefit to having a real performance even in a formulaic entertainment like this". Clark Collis of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a C+ grade, describing the film as "basically Were-Spartacus, though that makes the humorless, scare-free result sound much more fun than it is". He says, "Sheen and Nighy do their best with the material, but this is easily the worst Underworld so far." While he described the franchise as "grimly competent", Glenn Whipp of Los Angeles Times criticized Rise of the Lycans on its action sequences, which "accent incomprehensibility". Kim Newman of Empire rated the film one out of five stars and called it a "needless threequel", saying that it is unlikely for an audience who has not seen Underworld to "follow the tosh this passes off as a plot". He adds, "In former effects man Patrick Tatopoulos' vision, these Dark Ages were really dark – so dark, in fact, you can barely see the monster action or register why Sheen and Nighy felt the need to sign up." Richard Corliss of Time described the film as "sluggish when it's not grinding toward the preposterous" and that it "just wasn't that memorable". He noted further that the "Brit cast attempts to camouflage the silliness by swanning it up, as if the Royal Shakespeare Company had gotten communally drunk and staged an impromptu production of Dracula Meets the Wolfman."
- Underworld: Rise of the Lycans — From Script to Screen Featurette
- The Origin of the Feud Featurette
- Re-Creating the Dark Ages — The Look of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans Featurette
- William Control's "Deathclub" music video
- Filmmakers' Commentary.
Note: The Blu-ray release contained a PS3 theme.
First week sales of the DVD stand at 1,241,875 copies with over $24.82 million in revenue. As of November 1, 2009 almost 2.2 million copies have been sold and $43,407,017 in revenue generated for Sony Pictures.[dated info]
The Shield writer John Hlavin was hired to write a sequel, not to Rise of the Lycans but to Underworld: Evolution, with Måns Mårlind and Bjorn Stein directing. The title is Underworld: Awakening.
|Underworld: Rise of the Lycans: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Released||January 20, 2009|
Electronic body music
|Producer||Skip Williamson and Brain McNelis|
|Underworld film series soundtrack chronology|
- Track listing
- Lighten Up Francis (JLE Dub Mix) - Puscifer [4:34]
- Underneath the Stars (Renholdër Remix) - The Cure featuring Maynard James Keenan/Puscifer and Milla [3:36]
- Nasty Little Perv (Renholdër Remix) - Perry Farrell [2:24]
- Hole in the Earth (Renholdër Remix) - Deftones [3:47]
- Miss Murder (VNV Nation Remix) - AFI [5:59]
- Over and Out (Renholdër Remix) - Alkaline Trio [3:29]
- Deathclub (Wes Borland) - William Control featuring Matt Skiba [3:51]
- Board Up the House (Renholdër Remix) - Genghis Tron [4:19]
- Stiff Kittens (Jnrsnchz Blaqkout Remix) - Blaqk Audio [4:59]
- Broken Lungs (Legion of Doom Remix) - Thrice [4:48]
- Today We Are All Demons (Beneath the World Mix) - Combichrist [4:35]
- I Want You To - Black Light Burns [3:10]
- Two Birds, One Stone (Wes Borland/Renholdër Remix) - Drop Dead, Gorgeous [2:56]
- Let's Burn - King Black Acid [4:28]
- Tick Tock Tomorrow (Wes Borland/Renholdër Remix) - From First to Last [3:47]
- Steal My Romance - Ghosts on the Radio [3:02]
|Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (Original Score)|
|Film score by Paul Haslinger|
|Underworld film series score album chronology|
- Track listing
- The Rise of the Lycans - [2:27]
- Lucian and Sonja's Love Theme - [2:05]
- The Arrow Attack - [2:34]
- The Most Precious Thing To My Heart - [1:46]
- The Wolves' Den - [2:06]
- Lucian To The Rescue - [1:51]
- Court Battle Suite - [4:25]
- Sonja's Trial and Execution - [5:26]
- Storming The Castle - [2:53]
- Per Aspera Ad Astra - [6:45]
- The Rise of the Lycans (Precious Cargo Remix) - Mixed by Coma Virus [3:54]
- McClintock, Pamela (2009-01-25). "'Mall Cop' still tops at box office". Variety. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
- "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 1 Jun 2010.
- Harris, Dana (2003-09-24). "Scribe Duo Sinks Teeth into Sequels". Variety. Retrieved 2006-10-30.
- "Wiseman Looking To Underworld 3". Sci Fi Wire. 2005-12-12. Archived from the original on 2006-10-17. Retrieved 2006-10-30.
- Elliott, Sean (2006-06-06). "Exclusive Interview: Underworld Director Len Wiseman Talks Die Hard 4 & Underworld 3". iFMagazine.com. Archived from the original on 2006-10-24. Retrieved 2006-10-30.
- Edward Douglas (2006-10-20). "Exclusive: Michael Sheen of The Queen". ComingSoon.net. Archived from the original on 2007-05-12. Retrieved 2007-07-18.
- "Daily Box Office for Friday January 23, 2009". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
- McNary, Dave (25 January 2009). "'Valkyrie' tops foreign box office". Variety. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
- Thomas, Archie (27 January 2009). "'Valkyrie' steps out in Europe". Variety. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
- "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 February 2009.
- "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 17 February 2009.
- Leydon, Joe (23 January 2009). "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans". Variety. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
- Rechtshaffen, Michael (25 January 2009). "Film Review: Underworld: Rise of the Lycans". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 28 January 2009.[dead link]
- Puig, Claudia (26 January 2009). "Campy 'Underworld' prequel shines a light on Lycans' rise". USA Today. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
- Dargis, Manohla (24 January 2009). "Clash of the Monsters: The Origins of a Feud". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
- Collis, Clark (23 January 2009). "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
- Whipp, Glenn (26 January 2009). "Review: 'Underworld: Rise of the Lycans'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
- Newman, Kim. "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans". Empire. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
- Corliss, Richard (23 January 2009). "Underworld 3: Me No Lycan". Time. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
- "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. 2009-05-12. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
- "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans Brings the Battle to DVD and Blu-ray on May 12th". Movieweb.com. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
- CCI: Grevioux returns to "Underworld", Comic Book Resources, August 1, 2008
- Shield Writer Tapped for Fourth Underworld Film
- "Underworld 4 New Dawn movie". Teaser Trailer. Retrieved 2011-03-26.
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- Official website -- Official Movie Site
- Official Trailer
- Lakeshore Records - Official Soundtrack Site
- Underworld: Rise of the Lycans at Metacritic
- Underworld: Rise of the Lycans at the Internet Movie Database
- Underworld: Rise of the Lycans at AllRovi
- Underworld: Rise of the Lycans at Rotten Tomatoes
- Underworld: Rise of the Lycans at Box Office Mojo