‘Underworld’: Len Wiseman Says TV Series Adaptation Still in the Works

     January 21, 2016

Check out all of our coverage of the TCA 2016 Winter Press Tour here. (Not familiar with the TCAs? Read our handy explainer).

During the recent TCA 2016 Winter Press Tour, our own Christina Radish had a chance to chat with writer/director Len Wiseman about his new TV series, Lucifer. While we’ll have that full interview coming to you soon, she was able to tease out a few details about other projects he has in the pipeline. For example, Wiseman talked about directing Die Hard: Year One and commented on Bruce Willis’ involvement. Additionally, we also have updates on his latest version of Underworld, one that’s bound for TV screens.

While there’s still no official timeframe for the Underworld TV series, Wiseman certainly seems to think that TV is a perfect fit for the franchise. He also talks about another film of his that’s long been in development, an action picture that’s squarely set in the world of ghosts and the paranormal. See what Wiseman had to say about both projects below:

underworld-tv-series-len-wiseman-interviewCollider:  Are you still hoping to do an Underworld TV series?


WISEMAN:  Yes, there’s been a lot of conversations and even development on what that series would be. It’s really appropriate for television, in terms of how those characters can really tie in, but also become something new. It’s really an attractive space. I don’t want to put a date on it because then that’s going to be printed and it might not happen in that timeframe, but it is a thought.

While there’s certainly not a lot of meat on the bones of that comment, Underworld fans should be happy to know that the project is still in early stages of development. TV is the best it’s been in a long time, possibly ever, but if Wiseman can’t find a home for Underworld on one of the standard, cable, or premium networks, there’s always the possibility it might come to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, or another less traditional platform.


Image via Screen Gems

What else are you currently working on, on the film side? 


WISEMAN:  I’m also working on a movie with Skydance and David Ellison, called Black Chapter, and Zak Penn is writing that one. That’s very close to being finished. It’s a script that I wrote the first draft for about nine years ago, after Underworld, but I hadn’t directed anything yet and it was a big, high-concept project, so I ended up selling it to Disney instead. It sat there for awhile, and it changed and evolved. And then, recently, I was able to get it back and dive back into it and get it going with Skydance. That’s something that I’ve been wanting to do forever. It sounds like a crazy and silly pitch, so picture it not silly, but the idea is taking the ghost motifs within an action arena. That has never been done before. We’ve seen ghost movies from comedy to drama to horror, and in all aspects, but we’ve never seen the ghost genre and how that would work within a Jason Bourne situation, in an action film. It’s really tough, but if we nail it, it’s incredibly cool and exciting. David Ellison got it in a second and bought it in the room. He gets what we’re going for. It was a crazy pitch, but it’s something you haven’t seen before.

Depending on how well the new Ghostbusters reboot does in theaters this summer, that might make the case easier for Wiseman’s Black Chapter. Until then, keep an eye out for our Lucifer interview with Wiseman, and for more on Die Hard: Year One and the currently filming franchise sequel, Underworld 5.

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