Despite the most recent film's poor box office showing, Underworld will be reborn -- this time on the small screen.
It was announced today that Len Wiseman, the producer behind the film franchise, is bringing Underworld to television with his production company Sketch Films. Although he has yet to secure a home for the project, Wiseman hopes to find one within the premium cable or digital spaces. Regarding the potential series, Wiseman has confirmed it will be a departure from the Kate Beckinsale film franchise, revealing that it'll be "less comic book" in its tone.
“The series will be a pretty big departure from the films,” Wiseman said. “I don’t want to say it’s more adult, but it’s definitely less comic book in its tone and character.”
Wiseman, who co-wrote and directed the first two films -- Underworld and Underworld: Evolution -- has been trying to bring the project to the small screen for some time now, with the project having originally been announced back in 2014 during New York Comic Con. Although the series still appears to be in the early stages, it's seemingly finally coming to life nearly three years later.
Wiseman will serve as executive producer on the potential series via Sketch Films, along with Lakeshore Entertainment’s Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi and Eric Reid. Also involved in the project is Sony's television division -- this is noteworthy as their Screen Gems division was behind the film franchise.
The last Underworld film, Underworld: Blood Wars, which scored a less than ideal 19% on Rotten Tomatoes, was seen as a box office failure, having only pulled in $81 million at the worldwide box office. For comparisons sake, 2012's Underworld: Awakening secured over $180 million at the worldwide box office. That worldwide box office might make all the difference as Wiseman searches for a home for Underworld. Both Blood Wars and Awakening performed markedly better in the foreign box office.
Underworld's transition to the small screen isn't entirely shocking, as producers have begun seeking new homes for their failing franchises on the small screen -- such as Lionsgate's Divergent series. With some long-running film series struggling at the box office, television seems to be the next best option for those hoping to further explore the worlds first created on the big screen.
With no network attached as of now, it's unknown when the potential series will premiere.