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Comic-Con Movies 2011: Underworld: Awakening

Sony Pictures Animation presented Thursday and Sony Pictures would present later in the evening, but who could forget Screen Gems? The first of two Screen Gems panels was the fourth "Underworld" film, titled Underworld: Awakening.

After what amounted to no better than a direct-to-DVD third film in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Kate Beckinsale returns to the franchise as Selene for this filmed-in-3D installment. The panel featured directors Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein, writer/producer Len Wiseman and stars Theo James (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger) and Michael Ealy (Takers) in addition to Beckinsale.

The panel kick-off with exclusive Comic-Con footage, impressive considering Stein stated they're only halfway through shooting. The scenes feature Selene breaking out of a tube of some kind and slashing some dudes up with a switchblade among other things, all in 3D and in that signature shade of "Underworld" blue. Beckinsale was wearing another supertight costume that she describe as being like a condom; she could not bend over in it.

                                        This is the first official image of the film, released prior to Comic-Con.

Mårlind and Stein said they had not intended to do the film in 3D, but when they finally made the decision (studio pressure implied), they decided if they were going to, they would do it right and film in 3D.

As for plot details, the footage mentioned MIchael Corvin but the panel didn't address his involvement in the film. Info has also leaked that Selene will be dealing with a daughter she didn't know she had, which the panel also kept tight-lipped on. While Lycans were not in the footage (they're likely not that far along in the special effects), plenty were promised.

Wiseman also spoke about plans for several anime shorts of the franchise that would come with the DVD and Blu-ray of this film and hopefully the entire series box set that will come out. As for the future of the "Underworld" series, they seem to be taking things one film at a time, but he said, "I am all for taking the characters we know and throwing them into a new environment. I'm all in favor of more films."

The war between vampires and lycans rages on (with a twist) on Jan. 20.


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