The Underworld franchise is the kind of beast that’s not reaching epic proportions, but is still hitting its target market hard. Despite the departure of Kate Beckinsale and director Len Wiseman, the rest of the crew is hoping the third installment, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, will continue giving vampire and werewolf fans what they thirst for.
And they’re confident. So confident, in fact, that the studio is already interested in continuing on with more.
“[The studio is] keen on making more werewolf movies,” said Underworld III‘s director Patrick Tatopoulos. Tatopoulos, whose name is really fun to say, definitely has the pedigree for filling for Len Wiseman after working on special effects and creature effects for the past fifteen years, including the first two Underworld films. With that work in mind, his promotion to the director’s chair was, according to him, “a logical path.”
On top of that, he’s close to Wiseman, saying he appreciated “the support of a great, close friend,” regarding Len’s involvement in seeing Tatopoulos taking over the helm.
This new installment heads back into the origins of the war between the vampires and werewolves – in a past where the vamps are vicious, wealthy aristocrats that keep the wolves as slaves. A mass revolt is whispering its way through the the ranks, and conflict erupts.
Essential to that story and crucial to the success or failure of the movie is Rhona Mitra, taking over the lead protagonist role. Despite Tatopoulos originally seeing the character as a “blonde, Eastern European girl,” he “got caught up in [Rhona’s] personality” and knew she was perfect for the role.
Mitra herself said she was, “happy to be given the opportunity to blow stuff up, cut heads off.” Even cooler than that, the actress went on at length about enjoying working in the genre and spoke of how her brother had introduced her to comics at a young age that found her shaving her head bald except for a single cropping of blonde – emulating Tank Girl.
She has a tough job of being the horse that the franchise changes to midstream, but she was nothing but confident about the project and her involvement in it. Regarding playing such a fantastical character – and perhaps alluding a bit to how she felt about her own role in bringing the film to life – Mitra had this to say:
“When you can put on fangs…and a corset… you can do anything.”
Stay tuned all this week as we bring you coverage from Comic-Con International. Not only will we be roaming the floor in search of love, but we will have the latest news Live from Hall H, great interviews with some of Hollywood’s hottest stars and random convention shenanigans, courtesy of our Comic-Con Attack Squad! To keep tabs on all of the happenings, just head over to our Comic-Con 2008 Homepage.