Today Movieweb had the pleasure of sitting in on a roundtable discussion with Scott Speedman, Kate Beckinsale, Director Len Wiseman and creature creator Patrick Tatopoulos for the forthcoming sequel, Underworld: Evolution. This film follows the very well received Underworld.
The sequel to the $100 million worldwide hit, Underworld: Evolution continues the saga of war between the aristocratic Death Dealers and the barbaric Lycans (werewolves). The film traces the beginnings of the ancient feud between the two tribes as Selene (Kate Beckinsale), the beautiful vampire heroine, and Michael (Scott Speedman), the lycan hybrid, try to unlock the secrets of their bloodlines. The fast-paced, modern-day tale of deadly action, ruthless intrigue and forbidden love takes them into the battle to end all wars as the immortals must finally face their retribution.
The first of the two discussions began with Scott Speedman and Kate Beckinsale. It is apparent that these two actors take their roles of Selene and Michael very seriously, but they also seem to have had a great time on the set and formed a bond through working together.The interview opened with Speedman being asked what he had going on as far as movie roles were concerned. He candidly admitted that he didn’t have much happening in that department, simply because he’s not being offered “the kind of roles” he wants. Beckinsale then said that this new film “immediately” picks up where the other one left off. Both actors also did a lot of their own stunts and Beckinsale stated that for the most part, Director Len Wiseman (and also Beckinsale’s husband), wants them to do as many of their own stunts as possible.
The biggest difference with this film, Beckinsale noted with a smile, was that Wiseman “was in my room more.” Due to this, she had a more intimate relationship with the film in as far as how it is being edited. Beckinsale also informed us that she wears the same outfit that she wore in the last film, while Speedman joked that he got to wear “different pants.” As far as new enemies being introduced in this film, Beckinsale said they “have trouble from another hybrid this time.”
When asked about the prospects of doing Underworld 3 both actors seemed very open to the possibility with Beckinsale stating, “I think there could be... definitely by the end of this movie there’s another twist” which could lead into another film. They also both expressed a great deal of reverence for being able to work with Bill Nighy. “I loved it.” Speedman stated. They also described the training for this second film as “more intense.”
Lastly, Speedman was asked if he would ever consider playing a comic book character like Captain America and Beckinsale was hypothetically offered the role of Wonder Woman. “No.” Speedman stated matter-of-factly while Beckinsale would only offer, “I was Wonder Woman last Halloween.”
After that, Len Wiseman and Patrick Tatopoulos sat down and answered some questions about Underworld: Evolution. Wiseman stated that while he and Beckinsale are husband and wife, this actually helps when he directs her. “She’s very good about saying what she likes and doesn’t like.” Also, he can communicate his ideas easier to her because he can “cut through everything... you’re not walking on eggshells.” When asked if the success of the first film brought about any big changes with the making of the sequel, he stated that “having a crew that really knew what to do” was the biggest change. Not wanting to insult the crew from the first film, he stated that “the process” of getting the first movie made was a “struggle.” He was shooting in Budapest, Hungary with a crew that was very new to the filmmaking process. As a result, he said he had to “wear many hats” in order to pull of making the original Underworld.
Getting Patrick Tatopoulos to be the creature designer was a case of Wiseman basically telling him, “you have to do this movie!”. Tatopoulos stated that he feels Underworld: Evolution “is very much a period piece”, and that on this film there were “new werewolves and vampires... it was great fun for me.” When asked about the new hybrid that Beckinsale had alluded to during her roundtable discussion, Wiseman stated that it was “above and beyond Scott himself” in terms of the powers it has.
Lastly, when asked about the prospect of a third Underworld film, Wiseman stated, that he’s “undecided on whether that would be a full prequel or a third film that would just progress.” He then went on to state that “I am just a geek with the whole internet scene...” and that he pays attention “to what the fans like or don’t like.” He went on to say that as far as having certain elements in his films, when he reads enough about a certain thing on a message board he might say “I wasn’t planning on it, but if you guys are really interested, I’ll do that.” When asked if his wife could play Wonder Woman he grinned and said, “I think she’d be great.”
Underworld: Evolution opens in theaters nationwide on January 20th, 2006 through Screen Gems.