The Underworld franchise seems to have finally worn out its welcome at theaters. Debuting in 2003, the film about a “death dealer” (a vampire who hunts werewolves only to fall for a vampire/lycan hybrid), spawned three sequels and a prequel, most recently this past January’s Underworld: Blood Wars. The movie grossed a respectable $81 million worldwide off a $35 million budget, but that $81 million was a far cry from the gross of the previous picture, Underworld: Awakening, which pulled in $160 million worldwide.
Deadline reports that the series is now moving to television with Len Wiseman, who co-wrote and directed the first two movies and produced the following three, overseeing development through his Sketch Films banner. “The series will be a pretty big departure from the films,” Wiseman said. “I don’t want to say it’s more adult, but it’s definitely less comic book in its tone and character.” Yes, because that’s what the people want from a series about leather-clad vampires fighting canvas-clad werewolves: something less comic book in tone and character.
There are no further details on what the plot might entail—if it could be a continuation of Selene’s story or if it will simply take place in the universe that the Underworld movies established—but Deadline says they’re currently targeting either premium cable channel or a digital space for the series. It will be interesting to see if it gets picked up anywhere based on the brand alone since I doubt Kate Beckinsale will be down to star in a TV series.
As for Wiseman, Underworld isn’t the only project he’s working on. He’s still hard at work on the ill-conceived Die Hard prequel/sequel that will follow both Bruce Willis’ John McClane in the present day and go back to the 1970s to see him as a beat cop. Casting is currently underway to play the young McClane.