Len Wiseman, director of the first two Underworld films, had quite a few details to give regarding the franchise’s fourth installment. Apparently, his wife and leading lady Kate Beckinsale will reprise her role as the vampire heroin Selene. ‘Underworld: Awakening‘, as its being called, will have humans trying to destroy both vampires and lycans. I must say I’m quite curious as to how they will structure this film as in ‘Underworld: Evolution‘ both Selene and her lycan boyfriend lost their respective abilities after killing the first vampire, so how they’ll suddenly regain their otherworldly powers? Let’s wait and see. As for Wiseman, well he won’t be directing this one because according to his interview at Comic Con, he has too much on his plate already with the ‘Total Recall‘ remake:
Question: Why are you not directing this one?
LEN WISEMAN: I’m very busy shooting ‘Total Recall.’ I didn’t have the time.
Question: So was it like giving your baby away? Was it hard a little bit?
WISEMAN: I had it before with ‘Underworld 3,’ which Patrick Tatopoulos directed. Which was actually much more of that feeling. Because Patrick was with me developing a lot of what ‘Underworld‘ was, it made it a lot easier. He was the Production Designer for the first two films. I saw these guys (Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein) who I chose to direct ‘Underworld 4‘ and was blown away. They put together this low budget movie in Sweden called ‘Storm.’ That had a kind of ‘Underworld‘ vibe of its own. But it never stops being weird. Especially when Kate’s back. There’s not been an ‘Underworld‘ that Kate’s been in that I haven’t directed.
Question: It’s like she went to summer camp and you had to stay at home?
WISEMAN: Yeah. Yeah.
Question: But you are also involved on this project?
WISEMAN: Very much, yeah. Yeah.
Question: How do you keep the franchise fresh?
WISEMAN: You take it from different angles. And one of the things that excited me about this film was, ‘Underworld‘ has always been about the vampires in our culture. They have always been hidden. It’s always been about the fear of being found out by the humans. And so to take the idea of taking the ‘Underworld‘ and actually flipping it upside down and it’s actually their worst fears have been realized. And they are completely exposed. It’s known by humanity, it’s out in the real world. I thought there was a real opportunity to really shake it in a different direction. It feels very, very different than the others.
Question: Do you like the world of producing when you’re not directing?
WISEMAN: I do, I actually love it. I don’t love the business side but you have different kind of problems that you have to deal with and some are very hard and very annoying. If you’re a creative producer so much of the creativity is exercised. And I like to be involved in a lot of different things. Even when I’m directing a different film of my own I’m able to see everything that’s happening on ‘Underworld‘ and have a lot of creative input in that. Sometimes I’ll stay up ’till 4:00 in the morning. But I’m doing it because I love to. You know, it’s like I go home from shooting ‘Total Recall,’ and I’m exhausted. But if I see that there’s ‘Underworld‘ dailies that have been downloaded, I cannot not watch them and give notes on it. Because I love to see what’s happening with it.
Question: ‘Underworld‘ was obviously a successful movie in its own right, but it came out before the whole, vampire ‘Twilight‘ phenomenon. How is that either helped sequels become made or have changed your writing style? How is now being in that environment that wasn’t around for the first two, how has that changed the movies, or their direction?
WISEMAN: I don’t necessarily know if it’s changed the direction of our movies. I don’t necessarily pay attention to all the other vampire movies that are coming out. It really just kind of has its own evolution to it. Like there’s a ton of vampire projects that are out there but I think ours is much more action oriented. I hope that is what sets us apart.
Synopsis: UNDERWORLD AWAKENING brings a stunning new dimension to the epic battle between Vampires and Lycans, as the first film in the franchise to shoot in 3D.Kate Beckinsale, star of the first two films, returns in her lead role as the vampire warrioress 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.
“Underworld Awakening” opens January 20, 2012.