When it comes to the bankability of Kate Beckinsale and viral vampires, the limit apparently does not exist. The Underworld movies are the definition of a niche sleeper series. Underworld: Blood Wars comes out on Jan. 6 and is the fifth movie of the horror-action-fantasy franchise. 14 years after the release of the original Underworld, and the series is still drawing more than respectable crowds to theaters. Since the interest of fans hasn't shown any signs of flagging yet, how many more Underworld movies will there be?
In an interview with IGN at New York Comic-Con in 2014, writer and producer Len Wiseman said that there were two Underworld movies in motion at the time. One would be a spin-off featuring some unnamed supporting characters, Wiseman said. He compared it to 2009's Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans, which is chronologically a prequel to the first two movies and does not star Beckinsale as Selene. The second project he referred to would be another continuation of the main story, with Selene back at the center. And she's certainly back in Blood Wars, so the next Underworld episode could be that offshoot film he mentioned.
Of course, plans can change, and the Underworld team might have abandoned the spin-off for now in favor of another Selene story. But when ScreenRant asked Beckinsale during the Blood Wars press tour if there's any truth to the talk of a sixth installment of Underworld, she wasn't able to be much help. "I've heard [the rumors], but usually I'm the last person to know," Beckinsale said. And where would she like the series to go next? "I never thought there was going to be a second one, so I'm sort of the worst person to ask," she said. "I can't can't quite think what we do that would be more extreme next time."
Underworld might try its hand at another medium before it makes its way back to the movie screen. In that same IGN interview, Wiseman also hinted that there was a television series in the works. Collider asked the filmmaker how the Underworld show was coming along when he was promoting his series Lucifer at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour last January. "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," Wiseman said.
He was hesitant to put any expectations out into the world on the date, however. "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." An Underworld series could really benefit from the current TV climate and how welcoming it is for science fiction and fantasy, so the idea is a good one — even if Beckinsale isn't in for a long-term series gig.
Five years passed between the fourth Underworld movie and the fifth. So if another one is dropped into the pipeline, it will probably be a few years before it's completed and released. By that time, the Underworld series might be a couple of seasons into its hypothetical run.
This article was originally published on Jan. 4, 2017. It was updated on Sept. 6, 2019.