Now that Underworld: Awakening has been released and bitten into by fans around the world, the question is arising as to where the franchise will go next, if anywhere. While Underworld: Awakening is certainly a complete film in its own right, the story is left wide open for a fifth instalment. Questions are left unanswered, a few plot points are left unresolved, and all seems to be in place for another adventure. In some ways, Underworld: Awakening could be seen as a new start, perhaps the first entry in a second trilogy, with the story arc focussing on the changes in the worlds of the supernatural races during the human war against them.
In fact, the next films in the series could even focus on the vampires and Lycans joining forces in order to stay alive while their species are being exterminated by humanity. It would make sense for the human war to be covered in at least one more Underworld film, as it seemed to be ever-so-slightly underplayed in the fourth film.
I loved Underworld: Awakening, but it did feel like a little too much attention was on the fact that Selene was back and not quite enough on the bigger picture. I know, Kate Beckinsale is the star of the show when it comes to these movies, but without a strong plot direction and actual reasons for the spectacular visuals, then the films will satisfy less people.
Thankfully, Awakening had a good plot and strong performances from its main cast, and really did whet the appetite for more. That’s quite a achievement this late in the life of a franchise, but whatever comes next needs to take the concept of the war further, as well as what happened to Michael, the developing character of Eve, the remnants of the vampire and Lycan societies and the measures they must take to continue to survive.
Could there even be a giant offensive against the humans, leaving the Underworld series ending with humanity enslaved by the supernatural breeds? Anything is possible when it comes to the era-spanning Underworld franchise, and that’s part of the charm.
Another part of the enduring appeal of these movies is that idea of a self-contained world beneath our own, a world of warring monsters and intrigue, a concept that is able to mix elements of horror, fantasy, science fiction and drama into one coherent whole. It’s that mixture which has kept audiences coming back for more, despite what the critics may say about the films themselves. Where next for the Underworld movies? I’d say deeper into that world they inhabit, and I’m already excited.