Now that Screen Gems' Underworld 5 has brought back franchise star Kate Beckinsale to reprise her role as the vampire Selene, the studio is starting to round out the supporting cast. Deadline reports that Outlander star Tobias Menzies has signed on to play a new Lycan leader named Marius. Theo James is also confirmed to star, reprising his role as David from 2012's Underworld Awakening.
The project reunites Tobias Menzies with director Anna Foerster, who is making her feature directorial debut with Underworld 5. The filmmaker directed the controversial Outlander season finale, where Tobias Menzies' character Frank Randall tortured and sexually assaulted Sam Heughan's Jamie Fraser. Deadline reports that this deal wasn't easy to make, but Outlander is a Sony-produced show, and since Screen Gems is a sister company to the studio, they most likely facilitated the deal.
Little is known about the Underworld 5 story, except that it is said to center on younger vampires and werewolves who are stuck in a long-standing war between the two species. The project was initially conceived as a reboot, with a script by Cory Goodman (Priest, Apollo 18), but it was later revealed that the story will instead center on Theo James' David. The initial report from last year revealed the studio is seeking actresses to play two new female characters, but they have not been cast yet.
The Underworld franchise has never been a massive box office juggernaut, but they have always performed fairly well, for the budget they are given. The first Underworld, which hit theaters in 2003, earned $51.9 domestic and $95.7 million worldwide from a $22 million budget. The 2006 follow-up Underworld: Evolution fared a bit better, earning $62.3 million domestic and $111.3 million worldwide. Underworld 3: The Rise of The Lycans, the first movie in the franchise that Kate Beckinsale didn't star in, earned $45.8 million domestic and $91.3 million worldwide, from a $33 million production budget. The last installment, 2012's Underworld Awakening, brought back Kate Beckinsale, earning a franchise-best $160.2 million worldwide ($62.3 million domestic).
Tobias Menzies most recently starred in Black Sea alongside Jude Law on the big screen. Along with his role as Frank Randall in Outlander, the actor played Edmure Tully in HBO's hit series Game of Thrones. What do you think about Tobias Menzies joining Underworld 5? Or are you over this franchise already?