The Underworld franchise may never have produced the most well-reviewed blockbusters in Hollywood, but the series has endured for over a decade with impressive fortitude. Additionally, the films have built up a fiercely loyal fanbase thanks to a strong commitment to its surprisingly deep backstory and mythology. The mythos imagines a centuries-spanning war between rival clans of vampires and werewolves (here called “Lycans”) and a onetime vampire enforcer named Selene (Kate Beckinsale) caught between loyalties when she uncovers the secret truth behind her own origins.
Now, check out a new clip featuring Selene’s return in the long-awaited fifth installment, Underworld: Blood Wars.
In the clip released by GamesRadar, Selene is shown to be resistant to a call back to action by vampire compatriot James (Theo James) who reveals that an army of vengeful lycans has mobilized in search of her and her daughter, whose blood is the key to granting their leader Marius (Tobias Menzies) extraordinary powers. Whereas the first three Underworld movies took place alternately in the present and medieval times, the fourth film found Selene waking up in a dystopian future where humanity had declared war on both species via a new breed of scientifically-enhanced lycans with extra abilities.
Blood Wars evidently picks up from that point. However, it’s yet unclear whether or not the film intends to include Scott Speedman as Selene’s missing lover Michael, a superhuman vampire/lycan hybrid whose existence drove the plot of the original two films and who was implied to still be alive at the end of Underworld: Awakening. The full plot of the latest installment has not been revealed, though trailers feature Selene receiving a power-upgrade of her own from a group of white-haired vampires (or something else?) with Flash-like super-speed powers.
In the broader Underworld mythos, vampires and werewolves descend from a pair of twins from antiquity who inherited mutated genes from their immortal genetic engineer father and were subsequently bitten by a wolf and a bat (respectively). Beckinsale’s Selene has appeared in each installment of the Underworld films, though only as a brief cameo (via recycled footage) in the third film, which was a prequel set in the medieval era outlining how the lycans went from an enslaved race to a rival faction of their own. The film featured Rhona Mitra and Michael Sheen as a pair of star-crossed vampire/lycan lovers whose forbidden relationship lead to the ongoing open war depicted in the first two films.