Underworld films, Sony's Screen Gems and Lakeshore Entertainment are teaming for a third installment in the series with the prequel Underworld 3: The Rise of the Lycans, according to THR.
Patrick Tatopoulos, who created the creature effects for the first two "Underworld" films, will make his directorial debut with this one, which starts production in January in Auckland, New Zealand. "Underworld" creator Len Wiseman, who directed the first two films, will produce with Lakeshore's Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi and Skip Williamson. Scott Strauss is overseeing for Screen Gems. Danny McBride, who co-wrote the first two "Underworld" screenplays with Wiseman, penned the third script.
The prequel is set in the Dark Ages and traces the origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires and their one-time werewolf slaves, the Lycans.
Michael Sheen will reprise his role of Lycan master Lucian. Bill Nighy also will return as vampire elder Viktor. Rhona Mitra ("The Number 23") is joining the cast as Viktor's daughter and secret lover to Lucian. Kate Beckinsale, who starred in the first two films, will not be in the prequel.
"For the first time, we will experience the Underworld universe through the eyes of the Lycans," Wiseman said. "Patrick has always played such an essential part in helping to create 'Underworld' from the start. We have a terrific working relationship and a shared vision of the world and its characters, so I feel it is both exciting and fitting that Patrick now takes the helm on 'Rise of the Lycans.'"