Two months ago, reports emerged claiming that the Underworld franchise is being rebooted. We thereafter learned that the supernatural action property will, instead, continue with a non-continuity breaking installment centered around Theo James’ character, vampire David from Underworld: Awakening, as opposed to the series’ crown jewel, Kate Beckinsale’s Selene. Len Wiseman, who’s married to Beckinsale and has worked on the Underworld property since the original movie, has now revealed what else the future may hold for the franchise.
Wiseman, during a video interview with IGN at the 2014 New York Comic-Con this past weekend, revealed that another Underworld movie starring Beckinsale is, in fact, being developed in addition to the “spinoff” featuring James’ onscreen vampiric counterpart. The filmmaker also dropped the bomb about there being an Underworld TV series in the works, though he admitted that he’s not at all certain about which project – the spinoff with James, the next film starring Beckinsale, or the TV show – will happen first (if at all).
Awakening is a “soft reboot” of the Underworld property, but one that effectively set the stage for future stories featuring Selene; hence, it makes sense to not just throw that setup out the window by starting completely over with the David spinoff that Cory Goodman (Priest) is currently writing. Not to mention, as Rise of the Lycans showed, the Underworld franchise has yet to prove that it’s a world that moviegoers are equally interested in visiting when Beckinsale’s Selene is not (actively) involved as when she’s leading the charge.
Wiseman didm’t utter the words “Shared Universe” while he talked about the future of Underworld with IGN, but judging by what he told the site, it would appear that this is what the ultimate game plan is. Goodman, as it happens, recently pitched a shared Robin Hood movie universe to Sony, so it’s possible he’s also not just developing the David-centered spinoff, but likewise planning out a larger web of adventures set in the Underworld universe.
An Underworld shared universe, as indicated earlier, isn’t guaranteed to make bank at all, and there’s even more reason to question if the property can sustain that much content from a creative perspective. Not to mention, as we’re seeing with the Spider-Man movie franchise right now, even when larger plans are put in motion to build an expanded “universe,” it only takes one misstep (partial or full) to potentially throw off the entire operation.
Then again, as Wiseman pointed out, nothing’s set in stone right now, as far as what tomorrow will bring for Underworld fans. For our money, though, we could get behind the idea of a shared universe if it means a crossover with I, Frankenstein down the line. Just throwing that out there.
We’ll keep you posted on the future of the Underworld franchise as more information is made available.