For aeons, the Lycans and the Vampires have waged war with one another – a seemingly eternal battle that has, to date, fuelled four tentpole installments in the Underworld franchise. That latest entry in Screen Gems’ cult series, Awakening, didn’t fare terribly well with critics or fans, hence why the release of next year’s Underworld: Blood Wars is being held up as a return to form.
At least, that’s the idea. Acting as the directorial debut of franchise newcomer Anna Foerster, Blood Wars heralds the return of Kate Beckinsale as Selene, the age-old Vampire Death Dealer who wages war with just about everyone in sight in today’s first-look trailer. Unless you’ve done your homework on the Underworld lore, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little confused coming out of the sizzle reel, but it does tee up an intriguing dynamic between Beckinsale’s hardened lead and Theo James (The Divergent Series), who is attached to the part of David, Selene’s protégé and sworn ally.
Whether Underworld: Blood Wars brings about a new dawn for Screen Gems’ series will be told in time, but for now, let’s recount the cast list. Placing Beckinsale and James in central roles, the action sequel also features Trent Garrett, Tobias Menzies, Sherlock alum Lara Pulver, Clementine Nicholson, Game of Thrones star and franchise regular Charles Dance, James Faulkner, Peter Andersson and Daisy Head.
Once slated for October 14, Screen Gems will unleash Underworld: Blood Wars into theaters on January 6, 2017. That’s just a few short weeks before the arrival of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter and though one is seen as a soft reboot while the other is billed as, well, The Final Chapter, it’ll be fascinating to discover if both can fend off franchise fatigue and score highly at the international box office.