Underworld (film series)
Blu-ray cover art of Underworld: The Legacy Collection, which includes the first four films.
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Underworld is a series of action horror films directed by Len Wiseman, Patrick Tatopoulos, Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein and Anna Foerster. The first film, Underworld, was released in 2003. It tells the story of Selene (Kate Beckinsale), a vampire who works as a Death Dealer, killing the lycans (Werewolves) who allegedly slaughtered her family. The second film, Underworld: Evolution, was released in 2006. In this film, Selene takes Michael Corvin, a lycan/vampire hybrid, to a vampire safehouse and plans to return to Viktor's estate to awaken another elder Markus, whom they discover is the first Vampire and a powerful enemy. The third film, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, is the prequel to the series, chronicling the origins of the vampire-lycan war (it was released on January 23, 2009). The fourth film, Underworld: Awakening, is the sequel to Underworld: Evolution and was released on January 20, 2012. In this film, humans have discovered the existence of the vampire and lycan clans, and are trying to eradicate both species. A fifth film titled Underworld: Blood Wars was released internationally on November 24, 2016, and in the United States on January 6, 2017.
Despite receiving generally negative reviews from critics, the five films have grossed a total of $536 million, against a combined budget of $212 million.
- 1 Films
- 2 Future
- 3 Television series
- 4 Characters
- 4.1 Vampires
- 4.2 Lycans
- 4.3 House of Corvinus
- 4.4 Humans
- 5 Cast
- 6 Development
- 7 Reception
- 8 In other media and crossovers
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Underworld tells the story of Selene (Kate Beckinsale), a Death Dealer bent on destroying the Lycans who allegedly killed her family. She discovers that the lycans are pursuing a human, Michael Corvin, for experimentation; Selene captures Michael herself to find out what the lycans are up to. Along the way, Selene not only discovers a mutinous plot to destroy the vampire Elders, but also a shocking revelation about her father figure Elder, Viktor.
It is revealed in the film that Alexander Corvinus is the first of the vampire and lycan lines. He was the only survivor of a plague that wiped out his village. Somehow, his body was able to mutate the virus, mold it to his own benefit. He had three sons, two of whom inherited their father's immortality and were bitten, one by bat and one by wolf, creating the vampire and werewolf lines. Corvinus' third son, who did not inherit immortality, also carried the Corvinus Strain as an exact duplicate of the original virus, hidden away in his genetic code and passed along to his human descendants through the centuries. This, according to Singe, is the key to creating a hybrid.
Underworld: Evolution (2006)
In Underworld: Evolution, Selene takes Michael to a vampire safe house and plans to return to Viktor's estate to awaken Markus, the last vampire Elder. Before she can return, Markus confronts her, having been awakened by the blood of the lycan scientist, Singe, after he was killed. Markus does not seem keen to help Selene and wishes to steal her memories for information. While on the run from Markus, Selene and Michael discover that Markus is the first vampire, and that he plans to free his imprisoned brother, William, the first and most savage werewolf.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is a 2009 American film directed by Patrick Tatopoulos. It is the third installment (chronologically the first) 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.
As shown in the film, the original werewolves were uncontrollable beasts, unable to retake human form once bitten. However, there was a single werewolf who gave birth to a human-looking child. This child carried a mutation of the original virus, permitting him to alternate between human and werewolf form. He was Lucian, dubbed by Viktor as "the first of the lycans".
The vampires used the lycans as slaves to be the guardians of their lairs during the daylight hours and labor during the night. However, Viktor's daughter, Sonja, and Lucian fell in love and she became pregnant. Lucian, the lycan leader, led a revolt after Viktor killed Sonja to prevent the blending of the species. Later on, Kraven would strike an arrangement with Lucian, in which Lucian would fake his death to permit Kraven to advance, with the goal being the death of the vampire elders and the end of the war. However, that fell through due to mistrust and duplicity by both men.
Underworld: Awakening (2012)
A fourth film, entitled Awakening, shot in 3-D, was directed by Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein and released on January 20, 2012. Kate Beckinsale reprises her role as Selene and screenwriter John Hlavin stated prior to the film's release that it will not be like any of the previous films. Production began in March 2011 in Vancouver with Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, and Len Wiseman producing. On April 4, 2011, the title of the film was announced and the following plot synopsis was given:
Kate Beckinsale, star of the first two films, returns in her lead role as the vampire death dealer Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both vampire and lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.
Selene also learns that she has a hybrid daughter born while she was imprisoned, who has the ability to see through her parents' eyes. The same goes for Selene, who has the ability to see through the child's eyes and uses it to find her daughter several times in the movie.
Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)
On August 27, 2014, Lakeshore Entertainment announced plans to reboot the franchise. Cory Goodman was hired to write the script for the first film. Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi will be producers. Later it was confirmed not to be a reboot but another entry in the series. The fifth film, originally tentatively titled Underworld: Next Generation, is in production with Kate Beckinsale reprising her role as Selene and Anna Foerster set to direct the fifth film in Prague in October. Theo James was set to reprise his role as David from the fourth film as the new lead, "but my involvement in it is... I think it's going be very difficult to do that with these [Divergent] movies, and my other commitments,". James will still do the film to fulfill an option agreement. It was announced by Deadline that Tobias Menzies is cast as Marius, a mysterious new Lycan leader who'll more than likely go toe-to-toe with Selene and her vampire clan. In September 2015, Deadline reports that Bradley James is cast as the villain, Clementine Nicholson as Lena, the Nordic Coven's greatest warrior and daughter of Vidar and Lara Pulver as Semira.
The film was released internationally on November 24, 2016, and in the United States on January 6, 2017.
Wiseman revealed that a sixth film is also in development with Beckinsale reprising her role as Selene.
Wiseman announced that an Underworld television series is in development.
Their transformation is not nearly as startling as their lycan counterparts. When they transform, their eyes turn a shade of electric blue or bright gold, while their upper canine teeth lengthen to become pointed fangs. At all times, the upper lateral incisors and upper canine teeth on all vampires are elongated and come to a sharp point. Biologically immortal transgenics, the vampires of Underworld display most of the prominent superhuman physical prowess commonly seen in popular culture, including superhuman strength, reflexes and speed, as well as an inhuman resistance to injury and accelerated healing and recovery. These abilities are maintained by feeding on blood, which is a prominent factor in their healing capabilities, and strengthened with age.
The oldest vampires, Elders, are therefore the most powerful of their race, even stronger than Lycans in wolf form. They do not possess any of the mystical weaknesses of mythological vampires (crosses, holy water, garlic, stakes, etc.); however, they are highly vulnerable to ultraviolet radiation. They can also die from a broken neck, blood loss, dismemberment, mutilation and other extreme physical trauma, especially if their head or heart is destroyed or removed.
In the post-production of the film, the pallor of the vampires was achieved via D.I.. As explained by Selene in the first Underworld film, a bite from both a Lycan and a vampire is lethal, but Michael's bloodline allows him to survive and become a hybrid of both species.
Death Dealers are vampires that are specifically trained and tasked to kill Lycans (Werewolves).
Selene appears in the films Underworld, Underworld: Evolution, and Underworld: Awakening; as well as in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans for a brief cameo. Her lover is Michael Corvin, and together they now have a daughter, named Eve. Selene is portrayed by Kate Beckinsale, and by Beckinsale's daughter, Lily Mo Sheen, in Underworld: Evolution in flashback scenes as a child. Selene was created by Kevin Grevioux, Len Wiseman, and Danny McBride. According to Kevin Grevioux, Selene is based loosely on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. After the events of Evolution, Selene is no longer merely a vampire, but a Vampire/Corvinus-Strain Hybrid, now more powerful and also immune to UV radiation. At the end of Underworld: Blood Wars, Selene is not only accepted once again by the vampire Covens, but also named a new vampire Elders alongside David and Lena.
Viktor is a vampire Elder. He is portrayed by Bill Nighy. Viktor was a Hungarian general and warlord born sometime in the 4th or early 5th century. As he was nearing the end of his life, Markus Corvinus, the first true Vampire, offered immortality in exchange for Viktor's military expertise and army in fighting against the Werewolves, spawn of Markus' twin brother, William. When Markus turned Viktor, the general became a vampire Elder. The Death Dealers were created from Viktor's army. Viktor is a ruthless vampire Elder with his armies loyal to him, he overthrew the original vampire Markus and set himself up in Vampire myth as the first Vampire. Viktor was the most powerful vampire ever to have lived mostly because his manipulation, experience, and cunning far surpassed the other Elders. He is killed by Selene who cuts his head in half with his own sword. In Blood Wars, Selene is hunted by the vampires for killing Viktor. Selene's only two allies are Thomas, who had no love for Viktor and his son David who is secretly the son of Viktor's fellow Elder Amelia. Due to the threat of the new Lycan leader Marius, the Vampire Council agrees to pardon Selene for Viktor's death if she will train their new Death Dealers but Semira, an old favorite of Viktor, frames Selene for murder to get revenge. Following the deaths of Marius and Semira, the Vampires grudge against Selene for killing Viktor ends and she goes from pariah to one of the three new vampire Elders alongside Amelia's son David and the Nordic Vampire Lena.
Sonja is the daughter of the vampire elder Viktor, introduced by flashback, in Underworld. The character is heavily featured in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, and is played by Rhona Mitra. She fell in love with the lycan slave, Lucian, despite knowing her father would disapprove. Without Viktor's knowledge or blessing, she eventually married Lucian in secret, and became pregnant with his child. For breaking the Covenant, Viktor executed her and her unborn child by exposure to sunlight, and her husband was forced to watch. Viktor viewed the child as an abomination and was acting to protect the vampire line's purity, although Sonja's death haunted him for the rest of his life. His guilt over this led him to spare Selene, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Sonja, from the slaughter of the rest of her family. Sonja wore a pendant, which was given to her by her father. After her death, Lucian took that pendant as a keepsake of his beloved wife. This pendant proved to be vitally important to the events that unfolded in Underworld: Evolution. Her death started the war between Vampires and Lycans that lasted for centuries afterward.
Markus Corvinus is the first vampire in the Underworld series. He is portrayed by Tony Curran. Markus also appears in the novelization of the sequel. Born sometime in the 5th century; Markus was one of three sons of Helena and Alexander Corvinus, the first immortal. Markus was also the twin brother of William Corvinus; and they each inherited the immortality strain in its active form from their father. Together, Markus and William both shared a bond as twins that Alexander never truly saw. Markus was later bitten by a bat, thus making him the progenitor of what would become the Vampire species. His twin, William, was bitten by a wolf and went on to ravage the countryside of Hungary, infecting the populace with his highly infectious lycanthropy virus. In order to combat the growing werewolf threat Markus approached Viktor, a dying warlord, to utilize his military genius and army (who became the Death Dealers) in exchange for immortality. Viktor accepted and became one of the Vampire Elders. After being revived by the blood of the Lycan Singe, Markus awakens as a Hybrid and goes on a rampage to rescue William and turn him into a Hybrid too. He kills his own father, and apparently his distant relative Michael Corvin, but is defeated and killed by an enhanced Selene in a final fight when she stabs him through the head with one of his own wing talons and knocks him into spinning helicopter blades, dismembering him.
Amelia is one of the three Vampire Elders in the Underworld series. She appeared briefly in Underworld and appeared in a flashback sequence in Underworld: Evolution and appears in archive footage and as a painting in Underworld: Blood Wars. She is portrayed by Zita Görög and Sveta Driga. Amelia was likely bitten by the first vampire Markus. She was turned in order to help control the chaos created by Markus's brother William, the first werewolf. William was unable to return to human form after his transformation and his bite caused even the dead to turn to werewolves. Amelia had supported locking William within a coffin-like prison, in a remote place where Markus could not find him. The capture of William would not have happened without Amelia's help. As one of the three Vampire Elders, alongside Markus and Viktor, she allied with Viktor who sought to undermine Markus' authority. She fell in love with the vampire Thomas, leader of the Western Coven and went into hiding once she became pregnant. She gave birth to her son David and returned to her coven. She did not keep control during her last reign, allowing Lucian to work deals with Tanis for weapons to kill Vampires. She was killed by Lycans led by Raze during an attack on her train. In Underworld: Blood Wars, Selene's ally David learns that he is Amelia's secret son and thus her heir as the leader of the Eastern Coven. Using some of Amelia's blood, David is able to prove his claim as Amelia's heir.
Erika is portrayed by Sophia Myles. She is a character in the Underworld film series as well as in the novelization of the film. She is a vampire seductress, a social-climbing courtier in Viktor's mansion, obsessed with rising through the ranks of the vampire aristocracy. She is a high ranking maid who most recently began seeking the attentions of Kraven.
Kraven is portrayed by actor Shane Brolly. The name "Kraven" is a derivation of the English word "craven", meaning "coward", a reference to Kraven's spineless nature. Kraven has a vainglorious personality and a highly inflated-but-extremely-fragile narcissistic ego: Kraven is a long-time suitor of Selene, a Death Dealer. Kraven fancies himself in a relationship with Selene, even though she spurns him at every turn. Yet, Kraven was so obsessed with Selene that the more she refused him, the more he wanted her. When it becomes evident that Selene has fallen in love with Michael Corvin, Kraven becomes insanely jealous and highly irrational, demanding Michael Corvin's head, and even shoots Michael multiple times with silver nitrate bullets, nearly killing him. However, Selene revived Michael in the nick of time by biting him.
In his quest for power, Kraven had entered into a secret alliance with Lucian in-order to overthrow the Elders, helping to set up an ambush for the Lady Amelia. After Lady Amelia's death, and with Lucian and Viktor dead, Kraven goes after a slumbering Markus and tries to murder him in his sleep. But, Markus surprisingly wakes as a Hybrid and massacres Kraven's men. Markus then bites Kraven and obtains his Blood memories. Although, Markus stops before Kraven dies of blood loss, he turns down Kraven's offer to 'assist' him, seeing Kraven as untrustworthy. Immediately after that, Markus kills Kraven by beheading him.
Andreas Tanis is a character in the 2006 movie Underworld: Evolution and in the 2009 movie Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. He is portrayed by Steven Mackintosh. Tanis is a vampire of considerable age (estimated at over 1000-years-old at the time of his death), he was at one point the official scribe and Historian of the Old World Coven. An ambitious man, Tanis knew things about other vampires and kept the things he knew secret until it was of use for him. Coveting a rise in status to a member of the Vampire Council, Tanis enters into a covert alliance with Sonja and Lucian, aiding them in exchange for his silence and Sonja's seat on the Council; his part in Sonja's and Lucian's plan remained a secret after Sonja's execution, and later after Lucian's faked death. However, over 300 years prior to the events that occurred in the first and second installments, the Vampire Elder, Lord Viktor, in his bid to rewrite history, turns on Tanis and orders his banishment, citing that Tanis had been recording "malicious lies". The order of banishment was carried out by Selene, who escorted him to an abandoned monastery on Viktor's orders. Over three hundred years later, Selene would learn the truth about Viktor and realize that what Tanis had recorded years earlier was, in fact, true. Tanis is later killed by Markus after being drained of blood.
Soren, having a surprising lack of personal ambition for a vampire, was Kraven's janissary, and, being two of a kind, he was the rival/vampire counterpart of Raze before their deaths. He is played by Scott McElroy. Soren appears predominantly in the first film installment of Underworld, but is also referenced in the novelization of the sequel and also appearing in the comic book prequel, Not much is revealed about Soren's past; rumors surrounding him say that he is almost as old as Viktor himself (and was probably bitten by the Vampire Elder), Soren was originally Viktor's bodyguard, a position he may have held since before either were vampires. Later, he served as the head torturer in Viktor's employ. He proved to be very skilled in taming Lycan slaves with silver-edged whips, and even used them on Lucian at Viktor's request prior to Sonja's execution.
In the non-canon novel, Underworld: Blood Enemy, Soren lost his position in Viktor's good graces after he left Viktor's daughter Sonja, whom he was charged to protect, alone during an ambush by mortals who were hateful of vampires. He also remained ignorant of the fact that Sonja was in love with the Lycan Lucian until he was informed by a Lycan woman who had been obsessed with Lucian and resented him falling for Sonja. Soren informed Viktor, who then executed his daughter. Viktor blamed Soren for not protecting her.
David is a character from the 2012 movie Underworld: Awakening and Underworld: Blood Wars. He is portrayed by Theo James. He is the son of Thomas, leader of the Western Coven and Amelia, the Vampire Elder. Although never trained as a Death Dealer, and in contrast with his father, Thomas, David is not a coward and would fight when situations demanded it. Fascinated by Selene's past as a Death Dealer, he brought her back to the vampire coven with her hybrid daughter, Eve, hoping she would teach some of the members so that they could become what she used to be, as there are not any left within the coven. David died after a raid by Lycans led by Quint Lane, but was revived by Selene using her Vampire-Corvinus Strain Hybrid blood, making him into a Vampire-Corvinus Strain Hybrid too. During the final assault on Antigen, David, now with similar abilities to Selene including sunlight immunity, arrives to help unexpectedly. Armed with a shotgun and two blades, David distracts Jacob Lane long enough for Eve to break free and fight back. As more Lycan guards arrive, David turns his focus to them and single-handedly kills around a dozen Lycans. After the battle, David joins Selene and Eve in searching for Michael Corvin who has escaped. In Underworld: Blood Wars, David attempts to get Selene to return to aid the Vampire Covens against the new Lycan leader, Marius. His resurrection has become something of a legend amongst the Vampires as he is the first Vampire to have ever been brought back from the dead. After Semira betrays them, David and his father rescued Selene, but Thomas is killed after telling David to take Selene to the Nordic Coven. David is able to use his sunlight immunity to escape Semira's clutches and learns from the Nordic Coven that he is the son of the Vampire Elder Amelia and thus her rightful heir. During the Lycan attack on the Nordic Coven, David helps defend it and is devastated by Selene's apparent death. David then returns to the Eastern Coven and interrupts a coup attempt by Semira by presenting himself as the heir of Amelia with some of her blood to prove it. The Death Dealers and Vampire Council side with David and he leads a futile defense against a massive Lycan attack before a revived and enhanced Selene arrives with the Nordic Coven to help. David and Semira, who has become a Vampire-Corvinus Strain Hybrid herself by drinking Selene's blood, fight ending with David raising the shutters keeping out the sunlight. David is able to use Semira's distraction over her new sunlight immunity to kill her and after discovering that Selene has killed Marius, cuts off Marius' head and uses it to get the Lycans to retreat. Following the battle, David is made one of the new Vampire Elders alongside Selene and Nordic Vampire Lena.
Thomas is one of the surviving Vampire Elders in Underworld: Awakening and the father of David. According to David, his father was once a vampire who had "defended [his coven] with fire and steel, rather than hollow words", and that Selene reminds Thomas of the way he once was. He does not trust Selene, and openly discriminates against her daughter, Eve, who is a Hybrid. In contrast with his son, Thomas is a coward and ordered the coven to flee rather than fight, leaving David as de facto leader because of his demonstration of courage and intelligence, despite Thomas' status now as a coven Elder. His arrogance made him fail to realize the necessity of Selene's presence or what she has become, until she used her blood to resurrect David after he died from the critical injuries he received from Lycans. In Underworld: Blood Wars, Thomas is approached by Semira to petition the Vampire Council to grant Selene clemency in exchange for her help in training their Death Dealers. Thomas is successful, but Semira later frames Selene for murder and kidnaps her. Thomas helps David rescue Selene and orders his son to take Selene to the Nordic Coven. Thomas then battles both Semira and Varga before Semira kills him with a stab to the back of his head while he's distracted. Upon arrival at the Nordic Coven, David learns that Thomas once had a relationship with the Vampire Elder Amelia and he is their son as proven by blood memories left behind for him by Amelia. He is portrayed by Charles Dance.
Lena is a vampire warrior from Nordic Coven. As a daughter of the coven's leader, Vidar, she is depicted as a calm and wise vampire, but willing to use violence to protect her coven. She provides Selene with the cocooning process, thus not only reviving her, but also boosting her hybrid abilities to new heights. As repayment for saving her life, Selene gives Lena some of her blood, thus making her a Vampire-Corvinus Strain Hybrid. At the end of Blood Wars, Lena becomes one of three new Vampire Elders alongside Selene and David. She is portrayed by Clementine Nicholson
Semira is one of the leaders of the Eastern Coven. She is a fiercely ambitious vampire in Underworld: Blood Wars. She is also skilled at sword fighting. In Blood Wars, Semira gets the Vampire Council to grant Selene clemency in exchange for her training their new Death Dealers, but it is in fact a trap so that Semira can get Selene's blood and kill her in revenge for the death of the Vampire Elder Viktor who Semira had once been close to. Selene is rescued by David and Thomas, the latter of whom Semira murders, but Semira is able to get some of Selene's blood and learns of Selene and David's ability to walk in sunlight. Semira later sends Alexia to the Nordic Coven, knowing she is really the lover of the new Lycan leader Marius and kills her upon her return. Using Selene's blood, Semira is able to turn herself into a Vampire-Corvinus Strain Hybrid like Selene and David and attempts to overthrow the Vampire Council. However, David returns and reveals himself to be the son of the Vampire Elder Amelia and thus her rightful heir and true leader of the Eastern Coven. At this revelation, Semira's own Death Dealers turn on her, including her lover Varga and she is arrested. Semira manages to escape when the Lycans attack the Coven and battles David, being an even match for him with her new powers and proficient fighting skills. Finally, David opens the shutters to Semira's office and lets in the sunlight, causing Semira to get distracted by enjoying her new sunlight immunity as David intended. With Semira distracted, David stabs her through the back of the head and out of her mouth with a sword, killing her in the same manner she murdered his father, Thomas. She is portrayed by Lara Pulver.
Werewolves in the Underworld films, like their vampire counterparts, are biologically immortal transgenics. Lycans display a number of greatly enhanced physical attributes in either form, although the werewolf form is physically superior to both their human form and even to most vampires. Lycans are highly allergic to silver, to the point of it being toxic and lethal to them, and it is even able to keep them weakened and unable to transform into their werewolf form. They can also be killed or permanently damaged by extreme physical trauma as normal humans are, such as mutilation, a broken neck, or dismemberment, especially if their head or heart is destroyed or removed. However, while first generation werewolves sired by William Corvinus are permanently transformed and feral, second generation werewolves, the Lycans, and those they convert, can become able to change between their human or werewolf forms at will and retain their personalities while transformed. Their control over their transformation increases overtimes, to the point where they can partially transform to physically enhance themselves further, while age also gives them a limited tolerance to silver. As explained by Selene in the first Underworld film though, a bite from both a Lycan and a vampire is lethal, but Michael's heritage allows him to survive and become a hybrid of both species.
Lucian was the very first of the second-generation Lycans. He was the leader of the Lycan horde in the movie Underworld and appears in its prequel Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. He is portrayed by actor Michael Sheen. Lucian was born the son of a captured female werewolf, who was killed when Lucian was a newborn. He was branded with Viktor's mark signifying that he was put into slavery under one of Viktor's early reigns as a blacksmith. Being born of two werewolves, he was a pure-blood Lycan. Lucian was once a Lycan servant to Viktor's clan. His relationship with Sonja began when they grew up and it was eventually revealed that Sonja was pregnant with his child, making their child a Lycan-Vampire hybrid; but Sonja was executed, preventing the birth of the child. He starts a war with Viktor as a result and fakes his own death with the help of Kraven, planning to become a Hybrid in order to kill Viktor. His plan fails, but he holds Kraven off long enough for Selene to turn Michael Corvin into a Hybrid. Selene also later kills Viktor to fulfill her own revenge against him. Despite his plans to become a hybrid and to kill Viktor himself has failed, his will is seen through regardless with Michael's turning and Viktor's death.
Razahir "Raze" Khemse is a Lycan who is the right-hand man of the Lycan leader Lucian. He was born in Sudan in East Africa during the 14th century. Raze was the son of a powerful Sultan but his family's lands were taken during a period of wars that spread into Africa. He was forced into slavery and taken to Hungary to be given as payment to Viktor the Vampire Elder. He joins Lucian's civil war and after believing Lucian to be dead, launches a suicide attack on Viktor who snaps his neck and stabs him with a sword. He is played by Kevin Grevioux.
Singe is a scientist employed by Lucian to find a way to mix the vampire and werewolf bloodlines to create hybrids. He kidnaps members of the human Corvinus bloodline, and mixes their blood with both vampire and Lycan to see if they are compatible. He finally finds compatibility in Michael Corvin when Michael is captured and brought to him to be tested. He's killed by Viktor towards the end of Underworld and his blood seeps into Markus' tomb and awakens him. Unlike the rest of Lucian's clan, he is unable to transform into wolf form but still carries the werewolf traits. He is played by Erwin Leder
William Corvinus is the first and only Lycan Elder. Portrayed only in his transformed state, he is played by Brian Steele, but prior to his being a werewolf, he would have been identical in looks to his twin brother, Markus. Born sometime in the 5th century, William was one of three sons of Helena and Alexander Corvinus, the first immortal. He, along with Markus, inherited the immortality strain in its active form from their father. Markus and William both shared a bond as twins that Alexander never truly saw. William was later bitten by a wolf, thus making him the progenitor of what would become the Lycan species (his twin, Markus, was bitten by a bat). Unlike most later Lycans, his fur was white. William was unable to transform back into human form and had little more than ferocious savagery, nor is he ever shown in human form in any of the films. His lycanthropy virus was much more potent than Markus' vampire virus, even allowing dead victims to transform. William went on to ravage the countryside of Hungary, infecting the populace with his highly infectious lycanthropy virus. In order to combat the growing lycan threat Markus approached Viktor, a dying warlord, to utilize his military genius and army (who became the Death Dealers) in exchange for immortality. Later, William was successfully captured and contained by the combined forces of Markus, Amelia and Viktor and used by Viktor to keep Markus in line. After Viktor is killed, Markus releases William, hoping to turn him into a Hybrid and restore his sanity. Despite his bestial nature, William is shown to recognize his brother. In the fight that follows, Michael Corvin rips William's head in half with brute strength, killing him.
Dr. Jacob Lane
Dr. Jacob Lane is a ruthless and amoral lycan, he betrayed his own pack and reveals the existences of both vampire and lycan races so he can covertly experiment on both in order to create a new and powerful Lycan race by heading the research company Antigen, in hope of domination over human, vampire, and werewolf races. Using the blood of the Hybrid Eve, he enhances his own Lycan form, but not to the same degree as his son, Quint. During Selene's attack on Antigen, he battles Detective Sebastian and Eve and is killed when Eve rips out his throat. He is portrayed by Stephen Rea.
Quint Lane is the son of Dr. Jacob Lane, who is as corrupt as his father. After the public discovered him as a Lycan, his father helped to faked his death in order to continue his experiments upon him. He becomes a fearsome and powerful Lycan, larger and stronger and has the ability to rapidly heal and is seemingly immune to silver, and is sometimes called a "super-lycan". He is killed by Selene who stuffs a silver nitrate grenade into an open wound on his abdomen, which quickly heals, preventing him from removing the grenade before it explodes; revealing his so-called "immunity to silver" to be actually only be skin deep, and his vital organs to be very much still vulnerable. He is portrayed by Kris Holden-Ried.
Marius is a lycan leader who rose to power following the destruction of Antigen. Marius, who is described as being unlike any Lycan leader ever before, manages to gather an army of Lycans loyal to him that slaughters several Vampire Covens using superior tactics. Marius also captured and murdered Michael Corvin, using vials of Michael's blood to increase his own power and turn himself into a Hybrid. The threat posed by Marius is so great that the vampire Council agrees to pardon Selene if she will train their Death Dealers to fight him, but she is betrayed by Semira and Varga and sent on the run. After being informed of Selene's location by his Vampire lover Alexia, Marius leads an attack on the Nordic Coven, his new Hybrid powers proving superior to Selene's. Marius attempts to get the location of Eve from Selene to use her blood to solidify his power and is horrified to learn that Selene truly does not know where she is. After Selene's apparent suicide, Marius calls off the Lycan attack on the Nordic Coven and sends Alexia to lower the defenses of the Eastern Coven so he can attack. Marius leads a devastating attack on the Eastern Coven and comes close to winning before Selene, her powers enhanced by the Nordic Coven, arrives to help accompanied by the Nordic Coven. Marius battles Selene who learns from his blood memories of Marius murdering Michael. Downing the last of Michael's blood, Marius transforms and battles Selene inside of a cage. Using her newly enhanced speed, Selene is able to get behind Marius before he can react and rip out Marius' spine, killing him. David then cuts off Marius' head and uses it to convince the other Lycans that their leader is dead and get them to retreat. He is portrayed by Tobias Menzies.
House of Corvinus
Alexander Corvinus (Hungarian: Corvin Sándor) is the first true Immortal in the Underworld movies and is the father of Markus Corvinus and William Corvinus, as well as an ancestor of Michael Corvin, who is a descendant of Corvinus's third and mortal son. He is portrayed by Derek Jacobi.
Alexander was a Hungarian warlord who lived in the early 5th century. He ascended to power just in time to watch his village ravaged by an unknown plague. Alexander was the only survivor of the plague. His body had adapted to the virus, and through some unknown means consequently made him immortal.
Years later, with his wife Helena, he fathered three children, two of whom inherited the immortal strain in its active form: twin brothers Markus and William. Markus was bitten by a bat and became the first vampire. William was bitten by a wolf and became the first werewolf. William became a savage beast that was unable to ever assume human form again, something Alexander attributed to his uncontrollable rage. Only Alexander's third son (who inherited the immortal strain in its inactive form) remained a mortal human. Markus and his vampire army (led by Viktor) captured his brother William and locked him in a secret prison for over 800 years, the location of which was kept from Markus. When Viktor ordered his vampire daughter executed for becoming pregnant by a Lycan, he inadvertently touched off a centuries long war between lycans and vampires. Alexander chose to keep the war contained from ever spilling into the mortal realm. He hired humans to clean up after the battles and to help conceal their existence from the normal human population. Alexander states in Underworld: Evolution that he believes he and his sons were oddities of nature, and that the world is not theirs to conquer but belongs to the humans. Despite not displaying any powers of his own, he is referred to by Selene as the strongest of the immortals and the only one capable of killing his sons, indicating he does possess some abilities.
At the time of Underworld: Evolution, Alexander was operating under the alias of Lorenz Macaro, and ran his operation from the ship "Sancta Helena". He meets with Selene and Michael, who ask for his help to destroy Markus and William. He reveals that no matter what they have become, he cannot help Selene and Michael against them, for they are his own sons. Alexander has come into possession of Viktor's body (and Viktor's half of the prison key that holds William Corvinus). Alexander is visited by Markus, who impales him with his wing talon, takes Viktor's half of the key and leaves him for dead.
As Alexander lays dying, he calls Selene to him to drink some of his pure immortal blood. The blood, he tells her, will make her "the future" and is her only hope of being strong enough to destroy the Corvinus brothers. After Selene and Michael leave, Alexander detonates a case of explosives on his ship, obliterating it in the harbor, along with killing himself. His blood enhances Selene's powers, making her equal to the Hybrid Markus in strength and giving her an immunity to sunlight, ultimately allowing her to defeat him. She tells Detective Sebastian in Underworld: Awakening about getting her sunlight immunity from Alexander, referring to it as a gift from him. Detective Sebastian displays knowledge of who Alexander is when Selene brings him up.
Michael Corvin (in Hungarian: Corvin Mihály), bitten first by Lucian and later by Selene, became a Lycan/Vampire Hybrid. Being a hybrid, Michael can regenerate new cells and muscle tissues as well as internal organs even when he is dead, as long as his body stays intact. (Michael came back to life when Markus killed him by impaling him through the chest.) Counting the unborn child of Lucian and Sonja, Michael is the second Lycan/Vampire Hybrid. In Underworld: Awakening, he is labeled "Subject 0". He is portrayed by Scott Speedman and appears in a cameo in Underworld: Blood Wars by Trent Garrett.
Eve is the 12-year-old hybrid daughter of Selene and Michael Corvin, through whom she is a descendant of Alexander Corvinus. In Underworld: Awakening, she tells Selene that her name is Subject 2. She was born without her parents' knowledge during their 13-year captivity in Antigen. (This is also confirmed in bonus material on the DVD & Blu-ray.) The scientists in the facility told her that her mother was dead and never heard anything about her father. After her escape, Selene discovers that she had given birth to Eve during her unconscious state. Being pursued by both humans and Lycans because of her unique origin, and despite Selene's attempts to shield her from the dangers around them, she is recaptured by Antigen, but is rescued by Selene and Detective Sebastian during an attack on the facility. Eve joins the fight herself and kills Doctor Lane. In Underworld: Blood Wars, Selene sends her away to prevent any vampires and lycans from getting her blood. As a result, Selene does not know where Eve is. However, she appears in the very last shot of the film, revealing that she has been following her mother. Eve is portrayed by India Eisley.
A police detective in Underworld: Awakening who is shown to be sympathetic to immortals. He is first seen investigating a Lycan attack where he convinces his rookie partner to not jump to conclusions. While at the crime scene, he gets a brief glimpse of Selene and grows suspicious of Antigen, especially after he finds proof that they lied about their test subject, Selene, being dead. After an attack on a vampire coven that ends with her daughter being kidnapped, Selene confronts Detective Sebastian who admits he suspected the Lycans not to be extinct. He then shows her reports a friend of his sent him shortly before dying of over 200 suspected Lycans being tested and all coming back negative, leading Detective Sebastian to think someone might be protecting them and letting them rebuild. Selene realizes that Antigen is run by Lycans and Detective Sebastian offers her his help in rescuing her daughter, explaining that his wife had been turned into a vampire and committed suicide to protect him. During the assault on Antigen, Detective Sebastian mans the security station to guide Selene through the building and races to the parking garage when he realizes Selene will not get there in time to stop Doctor Lane from escaping. In the fight that follows, Detective Sebastian kills a few Lycans but is unable to harm Lane who is now a Hybrid. He watches as Eve fights and kills Lane and David arrives to dispatch the other Lycans. As the police arrive, Detective Sebastian, who has an injured leg, tells the other three to go and he will misdirect the police to buy them time to get away.
|Underworld||Evolution||Rise of the Lycans||Awakening||Blood Wars|
|Selene||Kate Beckinsale||Kate Beckinsale (voice and archive footage)||Kate Beckinsale|
|Viktor||Bill Nighy||Bill Nighy (archive footage only)|
|Lucian||Michael Sheen||Michael Sheen (archive footage only)|
|Kraven||Shane Brolly||Shane Brolly (voice only)||Shane Brolly (archive footage only)|
|Michael Corvin||Scott Speedman||Scott Speedman (Archive footage & likeness imposed on a stand-in)||Trent Garrett (Motion capture and prosthetics)
(archive footage only)
|Erika||Sophia Myles||Sophia Myles (archive footage only)|
|Raze||Kevin Grevioux||Kevin Grevioux|
|Amelia||Zita Görög||Sveta Driga
(archive footage only)
|Soren||Scott McElroy||Scott McElroy (archive footage only)|
|Sonja||Jázmin Damek (Back story footage)||Rhona Mitra|
|Andreas Tanis||Steven Mackintosh|
|Markus Corvinus||Tony Curran||Tony Curran (archive footage only)|
|Alexander Corvinus||Derek Jacobi|
|William Corvinus||Brian Steele||Brian Steele (archive footage only)|
|Detective Sebastian||Michael Ealy|
|Eve||India Eisley||India Eisley (Archive footage & likeness imposed on a stand-in)|
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. 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.
Filming for Underworld: Awakening began in March 2011 at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. Underworld: Awakening is the first movie to be shot using RED EPIC digital cameras in 3D.
Box office performance
|Film||Release date||Box office gross||Box office ranking||Budget||Reference|
|Underworld||September 19, 2003||$51,970,690||$43,737,767||$95,708,457||#1,382||$22 million|||
|Underworld: Evolution||January 20, 2006||$62,318,875||$49,021,926||$111,340,801||#1,122||$50 million|||
|Underworld: Rise of the Lycans||January 23, 2009||$45,802,315||$45,282,848||$91,085,163||#1,582||$35 million|||
|Underworld: Awakening||January 20, 2012||$62,321,039||$97,791,632||$160,112,671||#1,121||$70 million|||
|Underworld: Blood Wars||November 24, 2016||$30,260,417||$49,682,537||$80,000,000||#2,499||$35 million|||
Critical and public reaction
|Underworld||31% (157 reviews)||42 (34 reviews)||B+|
|Underworld: Evolution||16% (101 reviews)||36 (21 reviews)||B+|
|Underworld: Rise of the Lycans||29% (77 reviews)||44 (14 reviews)||B+|
|Underworld: Awakening||26% (66 reviews)||39 (17 reviews)||A-|
|Underworld: Blood Wars||18% (68 reviews)||21 (10 reviews)||B+|
In other media and crossovers
There have been various spin-offs and tie-ins in a range of other media. IDW Publishing has published a number of Underworld comics, including an adaptation of the third film Rise of the Lycans written by Kevin Grevioux which was published and released in 2009. In addition to the novelizations of Underworld and Underworld: Evolution, there is an original novel written by Greg Cox, published by Pocket Star Books in 2004, titled Underworld: Blood Enemy.
In September 2003, Sony contracted with Black Widow Games for the production of Underworld: Bloodline (a Half-Life mod). An action video game based on the first film entitled The Eternal War was scheduled for release on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox consoles in 2004, but it only saw release for the PlayStation 2 in Europe, and was cancelled in all other regions.
A cross-over with the film I, Frankenstein or its sequels was planned by Kevin Grevioux, creator of the I, Frankenstein graphic novel. He stated in a pre-release interview that, in an early draft of his screenplay, Beckinsale would have made a post-credit cameo appearance as Selene and that there would have been Underworld Easter eggs, but none of this was used. The box office failure of I, Frankenstein makes any sequels (and so cross-overs) now unlikely.
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