Underworld is a dark fantasy and action horror film series created by Len Wiseman, Kevin Grevioux and Danny McBride that focuses on the war between vampires and werewolves known as Lycans in the Underworld lore.
Although the critics haven’t been kind to this franchise, it has gained a strong fan base through the years.
If you’re new to this series, maybe you want to know in what order you must watch the films. Don’t worry because I’m here to explain everything you need to know about the Underworld films.
In this section, you’ll find all the movies in the release order.
What does this mean? This is the order in which the movies were released, but this doesn’t mean the story is told chronologically. This is something very common in movie franchises.
Action, Fantasy, Suspense – 121 min.
In a world where vampires and Lycans are at war with each other and their existence is a secret to human society, Selene, a vampire Death Dealer hunts Lycans.
Things get complicated for her when she feels attracted to a human, Michael Corvin, who is targeted by the Lycans.
When Michael is bitten by a Lycan, Selene must choose if she kills him or saves him, putting in danger her fidelity to her clan.
Underworld: Evolution (2006)
Action, Fantasy, Suspense – 106 min.
Selene and Michael are back in this sequel, as they look for clues about the history of their races and the origin of the war.
They must also fight to protect the Corvinus bloodline, one of the ancient ones from its secret past.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)
Action, Fantasy, Suspense – 92 min.
Although this is the third film in the series, this is a prequel to Underworld.
The story tells the origin of the war between Vampires and Lycans, and how in the old times, the aristocratic vampires used the Lycans as slaves.
Underworld: Awakening (2012)
Action, Fantasy, Horror – 88 min.
A few years have passed since the events of Underworld: Evolution, and now the government and the general public know about the existence of vampires and Lycans.
The war between both clans gets wider with humans in the equation. The government begins to hunt down vampires and Lycans to study them and harness their powers. And soon, everything escalates to genocide.
Selene leads the war against humans, but she’s captured and imprisoned in cryogenic suspension.
Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)
Action, Adventure, Fantasy – 91 min.
Both Vampires and Lycans are after Selene.
The remaining vampire covens seek justice for the death of Viktor, and the Lycans use Selene to try to locate Eve, Selene and Michael’s daughter, because her blood is the key to create an army of hybrids of vampire-werewolves.
Animated short films
In 2011 an animated short film consisting of three segments was released on Blu-ray and DVD.
Underworld: Endless War (2011)
Animation, Short, Action – 18 minutes
This animated short film follows Selene through three different moments in time while she attempts to hunt a group of Lycan brothers. The events portrayed in these shorts serve as a prequel to Underworld: Awakening.
How to watch all of Underworld in chronological order
As happens with many film series like Fast and Furious, Star Wars, or even the Marvel Cinematic Universe, movies aren’t released in chronological order.
It depends on many factors, like a narrative choice or how the franchise develops according to the success of the audience.
In the case of the Underworld series, the prequel is the third movie, so the chronological order of the movies is the following:
- Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)
- Underworld (2003)
- Underworld: Evolution (2006)
- Underworld: Endless War (2011)
- Underworld: Awakening (2012)
- Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)
If you want to watch in a strict timeline-based way, then above is how to do it.
Who stars in the Underworld film series?
Kate Beckinsale plays Selene, the main character of the franchise. Selene is a vampire and a Lycan hunter, known formally as a Death Dealer in the Underworld universe. Beckinsale is known for Pearl Harbor, Van Helsing, Click, and Total Recall.
Scott Speedman plays Michael Corvin, Selene’s lover. He’s a human who ends up being bitten by a Lycan and becomes a hybrid. Speedman is known for Felicity, and for playing Dr Nick Marsh in Grey’s Anatomy.
Bill Nighy plays Viktor, a vampire Elder who was a Hungarian warlord in the 4th or early 5th century. The Death Dealers were born from Viktor’s army. Nighy is known for Shaun of the Dead, Notes on a Scandal, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.
Michael Sheen plays Lucian, he’s the leader of the Lycan horde and he belongs to the second generation of Lycans. Sheen is also known for Frost/Nixon, The Queen, Midnight in Paris, Blood Diamond and The Sandman.
Did you know…?
In this section, I’m going to show you some curious facts about the Underworld series.
You’ll be surprised about these, trust me.
Did you know that Selene is inspired by a Marvel character?
According to Kevin Grevioux, when he co-created Selene with Len Wiseman, and Danny McBride, they borrowed inspiration from Marvel Comics and based her on the psychic vampire Selene, a villain from the X-MEN comics.
But don’t be confused, Selene from Underworld is not a Marvel character, and by no means is Underworld a Marvel franchise.
Did you know that a young Selene was played by Kate Beckinsale’s daughter?
Young Selene in Underworld: Evolution was played by Lily Mo Sheen, Kate Beckinsale and Michael Sheen’s daughter.
Sheen is also part of Underworld as he plays the Lycan leader Lucian. When they started working on the Underworld film series, Beckinsale and Sheen were already separated but on good terms.
Did you know that a crossover between Underworld and Resident Evil was considered?
Since both Underworld and Resident Evil are franchises from Sony Pictures, there was a time when they considered making a crossover.
Sadly, this idea was aborted because both franchises weren’t performing well in the last instances.
Did you know that the first Underworld film became the subject of a copyright infringement lawsuit?
Before the film was released, Sony was sued by White Wolf, the company creator of popular RPG games like Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse, because of the similarities between the games and the film.
The conflict was solved quickly in private and both parties reached an agreement.
Although White Wolf could have been right about what they claimed, the truth is they didn’t create vampires and werewolves. Since they’re part of folklore there is no copyright regarding these creatures.
Underworld may not be the most brilliant franchise you can find out there, but it has proved to be good entertainment and a great excuse to watch Vampires and Werewolves fighting each other.
As happens recurrently with film series, the released order doesn’t respect the chronological order. So, if you want to watch this film series in chronological order but you don’t know where to start, this guide is for you.
I hope you can enjoy the Underworld franchise as much as I did.
What’s your favourite movie in the Underworld series? I would love to know, so drop me a comment below.