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Underworld Movies in Order: Navigating the World of Vampires & Lycans

A Comprehensive Guide Through the Labyrinth of the 'Underworld' Series

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Shrouded in shadows, weapons at the ready, Kate Beckinsale embodies the haunting allure of the Underworld's relentless warrior, Selene

20
Aug 23

by Abigail Grace Irons

Welcome to the riveting realm of the Underworld series, steeped in gothic shadows and mythical warfare. This is a world where ancient beings shrouded in darkness are immersed in an unending feud—where vampires vie for power against werewolves, and blood is the currency of life and death. This sequential guide offers an in-depth immersion into this complex cinematic universe, brimming with formidable warriors, bloodthirsty beasts, and a riveting narrative of torment, lust, revenge, and power.

This remarkable franchise reignites the vampire genre with its heady blend of action, horror, and fantasy. Traversing through the labyrinthine saga, you will witness how Underworld cleverly weaves a blistering tale of ancient rivalries and insurmountable power, evolving into a legacy of its own. Starting with the atmospheric horror-action of the first movie, through the exhilarating sequels and prequels, we will explore the individual contributions of each installment to the series' complex mythos. Enjoy the journey as we unravel, one film at a time, the heart of the Underworld series.

'Underworld' (2003): Reigniting The Vampire-Werewolf Feud

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In the heart of the Underworld saga, Kate Beckinsale takes charge as Selene, her weapon trained and determination burning bright. With Scott Speedman, as the formidable hybrid Michael Corvin, looming just behind her, an unexpected alliance is visually formed - the age-old standoff between the vampire and lycan takes a riveting turn

Our thrilling voyage into the underworld commences with the eponymous Underworld. Directed with a stylistic flair by Len Wiseman, this atmospheric horror-action movie presents to us the character of Selene, a focused and dedicated vampire-warrior portrayed by the effortlessly charismatic Kate Beckinsale. Against a backdrop of centuries-old vampire-lycan warfare, this first movie grips us with an electrifying blend of fearsome conflict, unspeakable hatred, and tenebrous tension.

Kate Beckinsale graces the movie with the same elegance and depth as her portrayals in Pearl Harbor and Serendipity. Furthermore, her chemistry with Scott Speedman, already popular among audiences for his work in Felicity, adds an interesting dynamic to the otherwise grim narrative. Bill Nighy, known for his brilliant performance in Love Actually, delivers a compelling performance as Viktor, the chilling vampire elder.

Len Wiseman, a then emerging force in Hollywood, taps into the rich mythology of vampires and werewolves. Prior to Underworld, Wiseman had made his mark with visually stunning and impressive work on the production design for hit movies like Men in Black and Independence Day. With Underworld, Wiseman manages to blend the dark aesthetic of gothic horror with fast-paced action sequences, carving a niche for himself in the process.

'Underworld: Evolution' (2006): Exploring the Origin Story

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History comes alive as Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman, aka Selene and Michael, lean in to hear Steven Mackintosh recount the arcane secrets from age-old books. Their intense gaze mirrors their quest for the truth, illuminating the deep-rich lore that weaves the gripping Underworld narrative

As we delve deeper into the Underworld series, we encounter Underworld: Evolution, an exhilarating sequel that reveals hidden facets of the enduring vampire-lycan enmity while exploring Selene's quest for truth. Len Wiseman returns at the helm, and his splendid direction elevates the anticipation as the saga evolves beyond the realms of the first film, delving into a more sinister and enthralling narrative.

Kate Beckinsale ably reprises her role as Selene, further integrating herself into the fandom of vampire lore. Scott Speedman returns alongside her, solidifying his standing as a significant actor in the franchise. A notable addition to the cast is Tony Curran, an actor known for his versatile performances in films like Blade II and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, who plays the first vampire, Marcus Corvinus, with a menacing grace.

A testament to his escalating skills as a filmmaker, Wiseman expands not only the story but his creative prowess. Having directed and co-written this sequel, Len brought a clear vision to Underworld: Evolution, establishing himself as a significant figure in action and fantasy genre filmmaking.

'Underworld: Rise of the Lycans' (2009): The Birth of the War

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Fiery defiance meets icy fear as Rhona Mitra, portraying the intrepid vampire Sonja, holds a blade to Steven Mackintosh's throat in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

Our cinematic journey brings us to Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, the third instalment in the series. This fascinating prequel transports us back to a time brimming with resentment and rebellion, unveiling the origins of the tumultuous war between the vampires and werewolves, while simultaneously painting a riveting backstory for Lucian, the first werewolf able to take human form.

Stepping into the massive shoes of Lucian is Michael Sheen, a versatile talent celebrated for his work in Frost/Nixon and The Queen. Sheen adds depth and a sense of tragic heroism to the narrative with his exceptional performance, supported by Bill Nighy reprising his role as Viktor and Rhona Mitra who dazzles the screen with her performance as Sonja, further expanding her repertoire after her action roles in Doomsday and The Number 23. This prequel marks the directorial debut of Patrick Tatopoulos, who had previously served as the production designer and creature designer in the first two instalbments. Despite being his first outing as a director, Tatopoulos impressively maintains the essence of the franchise while providing a fresh perspective that enriches the series' lore.

'Underworld: Awakening' (2012): Bursting into the Modern Age

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Emerging from a chilling slumber, Kate Beckinsale is a haunting vision of resilience as Selene in Underworld: Awakening. Enveloped in ice and frost, steam swirling around her, her gasp for air punctuates the silence, marking an electrifying renaissance for the iconic vampire warrior

As the fourth entry in the series, Underworld: Awakening presents a dystopian future brimming with hostility and fear, as humanity declares war on the vampires and werewolves. The narrative revolves around Selene, resurfacing after 12 years in a cryogenic sleep, fighting to protect her kind and uncover conspiracies.

Kate Beckinsale returns to the helm, undeniably proving that nobody else could have embodied Selene as consummately as she did. Theo James graces the cast as David, succeeding in adding another blockbuster franchise to his portfolio after his lead role in the Divergent series. Along with them, Michael Ealy, acclaimed for his roles in Barbershop and 2 Fast 2 Furious, and seasoned actor Stephen Rea, known for his riveting performances in V for Vendetta and The Crying Game, make their entrance in the series.

Co-directors Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein triumphantly uphold the essence of the mythos while providing it a modern touch. Both known for their distinctive style in Shelter, Underworld: Awakening is a testament to their knack for combining horror and action seamlessly.

'Underworld: Blood Wars' (2016): The Epic Conclusion

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Underworld: Blood Wars paints a chilling image as Kate Beckinsale, accompanied by Theo James, steps past the stoic white-haired guards of the Nordic Coven. Beneath heavy coats, unflinching determination traces their path, as the icy majesty of the Nordic Coven's snow-clad stronghold looms in background

The final instalment to our thrilling chain of vampire and werewolf films leads us to Underworld: Blood Wars. In this exhilarating conclusion, Selene wards off unforgiving attacks, making brutal compromises and sacrifices to vanquish her adversaries and end the ongoing war.

Kate Beckinsale delivers a captivating performance in her final appearance as Selene, showcasing her remarkable evolution throughout the series. Theo James reprises his role, and among new additions is Tobias Menzies (Outlander, Game of Thrones) as the new lycan leader, whose performance adds a menacing edge to the narrative.

Adding her unique touch to the franchise as the first female director of the series, Anna Foerster (Outlander) brings a fresh perspective while sticking to the core elements that fans have grown to love. Foerster's deft handling of the movie's unrelenting action sequences reflects her vast experience in visual effects and cinematography, thus delivering an action-packed, satisfactory conclusion to this absorbing series.

Q&A

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Dressed in her signature leather and armed to the teeth, Kate Beckinsale's piercing blue eyes hint at the storm about to be unleashed in Underworld: Blood Wars. As Selene, she defies conventions and embodies unyielding courage, epitomizing the enduring resilience of the Underworld saga

What is the correct order of the Underworld movies?

In the order of release, the Underworld films are:

  1. 'Underworld' (2003)
  2. 'Underworld: Evolution' (2006)
  3. 'Underworld: Rise of the Lycans' (2009)
  4. 'Underworld: Awakening' (2012)
  5. 'Underworld: Blood Wars' (2016)

However, if you want to watch them in chronological order according to the storyline, the sequence is:

  1. 'Underworld: Rise of the Lycans' (2009)
  2. 'Underworld' (2003)
  3. 'Underworld: Evolution' (2006)
  4. 'Underworld: Awakening' (2012)
  5. 'Underworld: Blood Wars' (2016)

Should I watch 'Underworld: Rise of the Lycans' first?

Although Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is a prequel to the series, it was made after the first two films and assumes some familiarity with them. So, if you’re new to the series, it's recommended to follow the release order, beginning with 'Underworld' (2003), then 'Underworld: Evolution' (2006), and 'Underworld: Rise of the Lycans' (2009).

Are they making an 'Underworld 6'?

As of now, there has not been any official announcement about an Underworld 6. However, given the popularity of the franchise, it's always possible there might be further sequels or spin-offs in the future.

Who is the strongest Lycan in the Underworld?

The most powerful Lycan in the Underworld series is arguably William Corvinus, the very first werewolf and progenitor of the Lycan species. His infectious bite made him the origin for all Lycans that followed.

Why are there no female Lycans in Underworld?

The Underworld series doesn’t explicitly show any female Lycans. The exact reason isn't clear, and the movies haven't provided a particular reason. It might be a creative choice by the filmmakers to portray Lycans as a predominantly male species.

Why was Michael Corvin killed off?

Michael Corvin's apparent death in Underworld: Awakening was a subject of controversy among fans. However, Scott Speedman, who played Michael, had scheduling conflicts and was unavailable for filming, leading to the character's off-screen death.

Who turned Selene into a vampire?

The vampire elder, Viktor, turned Selene into a vampire as a child. After discovering her family murdered by Lycans, Viktor saved Selene, attracted by her striking resemblance to his deceased daughter, Sonja.

Is Selene a hybrid?

Yes, Selene became a hybrid in Underworld: Evolution when she ingests the blood of Alexander Corvinus, the first immortal. This transformation grants her added strength, speed, and other enhanced abilities like surviving in sunlight.

Why is Selene so powerful?

From the start, Selene was a distinguished warrior, renowned for her combat skills and determination. However, she underwent a significant transformation when she took the blood of the original immortal, Alexander Corvinus, in Underworld: Evolution. This made her a hybrid, greatly amplifying her power and augmenting her abilities.

Conclusion

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Leading the charge in the heart of the darkness, Kate Beckinsale as Selene takes the stage. From the murky depths of an underground tunnel, with water at her waist and a shotgun in hand, she emboldens her vampire squadron, solidifying her place as a beacon of leadership amidst chaos in Underworld: Evolution

As we draw the curtains on the Underworld series, it's evident how this saga has ingeniously weaved a blistering tale of ancient rivalries and insurmountable power, resonating with fans and ushering in a vital subgenre in vampire films. Each installment, with the engaging narrative, masterful characterization, and stylish cinematography, stakes a claim for the series' nearly-two-decade run on the silver screen. The journey, just as the Underworld universe itself, is a carefully crafted blend of anticipation, terror, and raw combat, distorted by the haunting allure of vampires and werewolves.

From humble beginnings to a multi-film spectacular climax, the Underworld series has transformed into a legacy of its own, establishing its characters amongst the iconic figures of modern vampire lore. As the witty, cinema-loving Abigail Grace Irons, I assure you that each entry supplements the series' complex, interweaving narrative and contributes to the overall mythos in an inspiring way. I hope this comprehensive guide entices you to explore—or perhaps revisit—this striking realm with a fresh perspective. Until next time, keep the thrill alive, stay impassioned, and be ready to delve into the next cinematic universe that I, Abigail Grace Irons, will personally guide you through!

Abigail Grace Irons

Abigail Grace Irons

Hey there! I'm Abigail Grace Irons, a cinema blogger with a passion for everything film-related. I enjoy diving into the world of movies, from the latest releases to timeless classics like Casablanca and Rear Window. Join me as we explore the enchanting universe of film together, and let's embark on this cinematic journey one story at a time. 🎬🍿✨