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Producer Richard Wright Chats About ‘Underworld: Awakening’

The team behind the fourth Underworld film, Underworld: Awakening, have been incredibly hush hush about the upcoming movie, so much so that when the plot synopsis was leaked before they planned its release Sony threatened to sue every site that posted the info. Seriously. Luckily we can post the info now, and on top of that, we have some new info to share. The producer of Awakening, Richard Wright, opened up a bit and chatted with Fearnet.com on the project. Check it out:

The franchise is very successful. Are you guys thinking, “Oh, Kate’s back for this one, so we’re setting ourselves up for future sequels”?
Once you’re doing #4, you can’t stop yourself from thinking there will be a #5. As of now #5 has not been greenlit. There’s no script, there’s no approved story. I think if we were to do it, we’d have a pretty good idea of who the characters would be, and what the basic timeline would be. I think it would take place after #4, but there would be a lot of different variables that would have to be worked out. Kate would have to agree to come back. She didn’t want to do the third one, so the fourth one was a return for her. I shouldn’t say she didn’t want to do the third one; she didn’t do the third one. So she would have to agree to do a fifth one. As with any actor, doing to the same role over and over again is not always the most attractive thing. But this is still an iconic role, and I think that she inhabits the movie, and it’s impossible to imagine what this series of films would have been like without her.

What got things rolling on this one?
Well, Len and Kate are married, as I’m sure you know, as so we’re not always privy to what goes on in the Wiseman/Beckinsale household, but Len basically came up with the general idea, and we got the original script for the final idea December of 2009. And while the basic story was good, the basic idea – the idea that it’s fifteen years in the future, that the Kate Beckinsale character has been in cryogenic suspension for fifteen years. She wakes up in a future world where the existence of vampires and werewolves has been made known to the humans, there’s been a counterattack, there’s been a genocide, and a purge to try to remove all the vampires and the werewolves from the face of the Earth. And there has been a company that has taken the forefront of testing people – because both vampires and werewolves can appear in almost human form. It has come to power, so to speak, because of their role in being able to test whether people are vampires or werewolves. That company has become pretty much all-powerful: a biotech company that has amassed enormous political power, and they are the company that has been holding her for nearly fifteen years… there’s a prologue that explains all of what we’ve just gone through, for the first ten minutes of the movie, then there’s a cut to black, and now we’re fifteen years later. And for us in the movie, and for the character Selene, there’s been no missing time at all. As she breaks out of the confinement that she’s been in, she gets back out into the world and starts picking up clues. “Wait a minute, this is not the time that I thought it was, it’s fifteen years in the future… this location is completely different.”  So a lot of the film is actually structured as a mystery. She’s trying to piece together what happened, who did this to her, and why.

Are a lot of “old favorite” characters returning?
As a franchise evolves there are inevitably going to be new characters who come in. Also, we keep killing off our characters, so it’s hard to have them come back, although we have figured out how to do that on more than one occasion [laughs]. But Michael Ealy, I would hope that we would see his character in subsequent films. There are other characters that you will recognize in this film that we would hope would carry forward. There’s Kate and then there’s Michael, who plays, you know, the Scott Speedman character…

Oh, he’s back?
He’s not… and here’s the miracle about this… his character plays a role in the film, and then the idea is that he would come back in the fifth one.

There seems to be a bit of a vampire backlash going on right now. Are you trying to move away from the vampire angle at all?
No. This film still has the same elements that the old Underworld films have had. The lead is a vampire, there are still werewolves, there are covens. Even though the vampire and werewolf populations have been decimated fifteen years ago by this purge that happened, there are still remnants of that. There is still this deep connection to the past, and the weight of the past on the characters. Having said that, though, this film is going to rely less on atmospherics and more on actual action.

Read the full interview HERE.

Richard Wright revealed quite a bit of info in this interview, like that Scott Speedman isn’t returning, which is a bit disappointing. But in spite of that the film sounds pretty badass. After reading the interview I am definitely more excited about Awakening. What about you?

Here’s the trailer again for those that missed the earlier Awakening post.

– Moonlight

About the Author
Moonlight loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to werewolves and other supernatural beasties. She writes for top genre sites like Vampires.com and Werewolves.com. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and you may lose a limb. You can stalk her via her Twitter.

Richard WrightunderworldUnderworld: Awakening

moonlight • August 26, 2011


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