The next take on "Underworld" series is on its way to get shaped up. Report from Variety points out that a director has been named and early cast lineup have already got assembled for "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans."
Lakeshore Entertainment and Screen Gems as the studios behind the project are learned to have appointed F/X maven Patrick Tatopoulos to take the helming duties with Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy, and Rhona Mitra all set to star. Tatopoulos was previously known to be the one who developed the creatures for the first two installments of the franchise.
Meanwhile, story is going to trace the origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires known as Death Dealers and their onetime slaves, the Lycans. Sheen will play a young Lycan named Lucian who becomes a powerful leader that rallies his kin to rise up against Nighy's Viktor, the cruel vampire king enslaving them. Mitra, in the meantime, is billed as Sonja, Lucian's secret lover who joins him in his battle against the Death Dealer army and his struggle for Lycan freedom.
Principal photography is slated to start in January 2008 using locations in Auckland, New Zealand for Screen Gems to later distribute in North America. Screenplay was penned by Danny McBride with "Underworld" creator Len Wiseman producing alongside Lakeshore's Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, and Skip Williamson.
"For the first time we will experience the 'Underworld' universe through the eyes of the Lycans," Wiseman stated. "Patrick has always played such an essential part in helping to create 'Underworld' from the start. ... So I feel it is both exciting and fitting that (he) now takes the helm."