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Underworld is a series of action / horror films directed by Len Wiseman, Patrick Tatopoulos, Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein. The first film, Underworld, was released in 2003, and the second film, Underworld: Evolution, in 2006. The third film, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, a prequel to the first film, was released on January 23, 2009. The fourth film, Underworld: Awakening, a sequel to the second film, was released on January 20, 2012.
Underworld tells the story of Selene (Kate Beckinsale), a Death Dealer bent on destroying the Lycans who allegedly killed her family. She discovers that the Lycans are pursuing a human, Michael Corvin, for experimentation; Selene captures Michael herself to find out what the Lycans are up to. Along the way, Selene not only discovers a mutinous plot to destroy the Vampire Elders, but also a shocking revelation about her father figure Elder, Viktor.
The vampires, werewolves, and Lycans (Lycans are the ones able to transition between human and wolf form), are not supernatural creatures, but rather the product of a virus.
It is revealed in the film that Alexander Corvinus is the first of the vampire and Lycan lines. He was the only survivor of a plague that wiped out his village. Somehow, his body was able to mutate the virus, mold it to his own benefit. He had three sons, two of whom inherited their father's immortality and were bitten, one by bat and one by wolf, creating the vampire and werewolf lines. Corvinus' third son, who did not inherit immortality, also carried the Corvinus Strain as an exact duplicate of the original virus, hidden away in his genetic code and passed along to his human descendants through the centuries. This, according to Singe, is the key to creating a hybrid.
In Underworld: Evolution, Selene takes Michael to a vampire safehouse and plans to return to Viktor's estate to awaken Marcus, the last Vampire Elder. Before she can return, Marcus confronts her, having been awakened by the blood of the Lycan scientist, Singe, after he was killed. Marcus does not seem keen to help Selene and wishes to steal her memories for information. While on the run from Marcus, Selene and Michael discover that Marcus is the first vampire, and that he plans to free his imprisoned brother, William, the first and most savage werewolf.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is a 2009 American film directed by Patrick Tatopoulos. It is the third installment (chronologically the first) in the Underworld series, focusing primarily on the origins of some characters and the events leading to the vampire–Lycan war, depicted in the previous films Underworld and Underworld: Evolution.
As shown in the film, the original werewolves were uncontrollable beasts, unable to retake human form once bitten. However, there was a single werewolf who gave birth to a human-looking child. This child carried a mutation of the original virus, permitting him to alternate between human and werewolf form. He was Lucian, dubbed by Viktor as "the first of the Lycans".
The vampires used the Lycans as slaves to be the guardians of their lairs during the daylight hours and labor during the night. However, Viktor's daughter, Sonja, and Lucian fell in love and she became pregnant. Lucian, the Lycan leader, led a revolt after Viktor killed Sonja to prevent the blending of the species. Later on, Kraven would strike an arrangement with Lucian, in which Lucian would fake his death to permit Kraven to advance, with the goal being the death of the vampire elders and the end of the war. However, that fell through due to mistrust and duplicity by both men.
A fourth film, Underworld: Awakening, shot in 3-D, was directed by Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein and released on January 20, 2012. Kate Beckinsale reprises her role as Selene and screenwriter John Hlavin stated prior to the film's release that it will not be like any of the previous films. Production began in March 2011 in Vancouver with Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, and Len Wiseman producing. On April 4, 2011, the title of the film was announced and the following plot synopsis was given:
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.
Selene also learns that she has a hybrid daughter born while she was imprisoned, who has the ability to see through her parents' eyes. The same goes for Selene, who has the ability to see through the child's eyes and uses it to find her daughter several times in the movie.