In a pattern as inexorable as life, death, the movement of the moon around the Earth or the ability of ants to get where they’re not wanted, another Underworld film is on the way. Underworld: Next Generation is in pre-production and will star vampiric kick-puncher Kate Beckinsale. (more…)
Well, it was bound to happen sometime. Four movies into the Underworld series, I finally broke down and saw one of the things in theaters. It was back in February when I was joined by three other gentlemen for a 5:10 showing of the 3-D version of Underworld: Awakening (for some reason the 2-D version wasn’t showing at all in my town), and it’s pretty safe to say we all got precisely the movie we were expecting. (more…)
The Hollywood Reporter and every other film news site / blog are suddenly all very excited that Kate Beckinsale will have a role in the fourth Underworld film, despite the fact having been reported over a month ago. No other information has been released, so I’m not sure what triggered the hubbub, but here we are. Production starts here in Vancouver next March, with a theatrical release tentatively slated for January 2012.
Those are the facts, folks, as reported by Bloody Disgusting (and repeated by others): Sony Screen Gems has green-lit a fourth Underworld film, to be released January 20th, 2012. Word is that it will be shot in 3D, with Len Wiseman directing a script written by John Hlavin. And yes, fanboy-favourite Kate Beckinsale will be back as Selene, although it’s a “smaller role” in which she passes to one of her two(!) daughters the responsibility of wearing a lot of black latex and shooting werewolves. Hey, as long as we get to see more werewolves like this, bring it on!
Canadian artist Mathieu Aerni is coming at you like a northern bullet with this killer image of William (who you might remember from such films as Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and When Harry Met Sally). Mathieu posted this on his CGPortfolio back in November 2009 and it’s been my desktop background ever since. William was sculpted and textured in ZBrush and given some fur in Photoshop. Check out some more renders on Mathieu’s site, and while you’re at it have a look at some of his other work– chances are good you’ve seen his work in a feature film in the past year.
NYTimes.com has posted a just-snarky-enough-for-the-Internet breakdown of eight canonical movie werewolves (well, seven plus that bland New Moon guy). The author (Dave Itzkoff) watched the films with enough attention to detail to produce some wry comments, but I think the best one of the lot comes early.
[1941’s Wolf Man] Talbot meets his end at the wrong end of a silver walking stick wielded by his father who, while disappointed in his son’s lifestyle, probably never intended to club him to death.
Tom Spina spends a lot of time around werewolves. Last year he did some major restoration on “Oscar” from An American Werewolf in London, and now he’s just completed a custom mannequin to display an original Underworld: Rise of the Lycans werewolf costume (scroll down a bit for the link) for a private collector. Tom contacted me to let me know about this project, thinking that readers of Werewolf News might find it interesting, and he also kindly took the time to answer a few questions I had for him about the project.
Werewolf News: In what condition was the costume when you first received it from the client? Had it seen production use, and been banged up at all?
Tom Spina: The costume saw extensive use in the film (and we verified that with someone on-set who could ID this particular costume) and the condition was actually very good.
Beneath the fur, there’s a lot of skin exposed, and not a lot of places to hide seams. How many pieces did the costume break down to, and did you have to do anything out of the ordinary to create such a seamless result?
Some minor cracks and rubs but still supple and flexible. It breaks down into 4 pieces: The bodysuit with attached arms, the stilt feet (seem hidden by fur) and the head. Our responsibility was to find a means of displaying an otherwise awkward and difficult costume to display. The nature of the costume required some careful planning when creating the support structure, as a “normal” mannequin would never be able to navigate its way inside the bodysuit.
What level of creative freedom did you have when it came to determining the pose and the details of the base? Were there any other aspects of the project that allowed you to add some creative, personal touches?
As always, we worked closely with the client to determine the pose. That process is always a balance between the look desired and the needs of the wardrobe. In this case, dealing with foam and such, you don’t want anything overly extreme, as you can cause unnatural wrinkles in the suit. We settled on something with “quiet menace” rather than dynamic action. There’s a bit of attitude in the torso and some more in the head positioning, with the legs and arms at interesting angles, but relatively neutral to keep the costume’s skin properly aligned and supported. The base was the client’s idea and something we actually consider temporary. Eventually, we’ll likely do a dark stone block look for the base.
Is it tough to say goodbye to a piece when it’s finished and the client ships it out?
YES, it’s always tough to say goodbye to these pieces!
As always, incredible work, Tom! Thanks for sharing your time and work with us werewolf fans.
I’m still getting caught up on all of the cool werewolf stuff that’s gone down over the past two weeks. Here’s a few bones for you lycanthrope fans to chew on until tomorrow!
- Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way has obtained the rights to a “gothic reimagining” of Little Red Riding Hood by Orphan screenwriter David Leslie Johnson. No further details yet, other than the fact that DiCaprio probably won’t be starring.
- ShockTilYouDrop.com’s sources indicate that Underworld 4 may be the first film of a new Underworld trilogy that continues the modern-day story of Selene, the vampire played by Kate Beckinsale in the first two Underworld films.
- Game developer Destineer announces “Alien Monster Bowling League” for the Wii, out this fall. “Take to the lanes against various aliens and legendary monsters like werewolves, vampires, zombies and more!” Sounds like bowling with a Mutant League Football twist, which means I’ll be buying it the minute it’s out.
- There are some new production stills from the oft-delayed Wolfman movie, starring Benicio del Toro and Anthony Hopkins. No werewolf (sorry, wolfman) content other than a menacing silhouette in one of the photos, but it’s nice to see some movement where this film is concerned. Visit the official Wolfman move site to check out the photos.
- According to Cinematical, House of the Wolf Man, which made a tremendous impression at this year’s San Diego Comic Con, is getting a limited theatrical release on October 1st. I don’t see any mention of this on the film’s MySpace or Facebook pages, but I hope it’s true!
According to the consistently reliable ShockTilYouDrop.com, Sony’s Screen Gems is moving ahead with a fourth film in the “Underworld” franchise and is targeting a January 2011 release. Word is that the film will be shot in 3D, but it’s not clear whether the film will be another prequel, like this year’s successful Rise of the Lycans, or a continuation of the present-day story that left off with Underworld: Evolution. I’ll post more information as it becomes available!
I care about you. I care about you a lot. Your happiness is important to me, and it would kill me to know that you slept through the DVD / Blu-ray release of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans this Tuesday. Imagine how bad you’d feel if Wednesday came and you realized you’d missed it. You’d feel terrible, and then I’d feel terrible. We can’t have that! So consider yourself reminded: Underworld: Rise of the Lycans hits stores Tuesday, May 12th, and if you want to avoid a social anxiety flare-up, you can order either the standard DVD version or the Blu-ray version from Amazon. You can even do it now, if you like, and then you can relax about Tuesday– they’re taking pre-orders.
Sorry if I’m being overbearing here, but I honestly do care about spreading werewolf movies far and wide you. Truly.