Underworld: Blood Wars vamps it up at New York Comic Con panel + new trailer

The Underworld series has had surprising legs, surviving 13 years, four movies, and three different directors. Now, with a fifth film (Blood Wars) helmed by a fourth director (Anna Foerster, who was behind some of the best episodes of Outlander), on the way, Kate Beckinsale and Theo James took to the stage at New York Comic Con to debut a new trailer and talk about what we can expect from the franchise's latest installment. 

The trailer showcased a lot of what the Underworld movies have been known for -- vampires! Werewolves! Gunplay! Catsuits! Gothic imagery! - while also taking us to some new locations and highlighting a couple of faces that will be familiar to Game of Thrones fans (Charles Dance returning for a second go-round and Tobias Menzies showing up as werewolf leader Marius). Basically, if you like watching Selene kick undead ass while people talk about esoteric vampiric clan structure, this movie looks like it'll be right in your wheelhouse.

The panel presentation afterward was short on actual information and long on charming anecdotes being delivered in charming fashion by ridiculously attractive British actors. One such story included a ferret adopted by Theo James after a Beckinsale-initiated prank went awry, and another focused on any additions to Beckinsale's iconic look as Selene ("She basically gets a coat" - James). It definitely seemed like James and Beckinsale had great off-screen chemistry, so it'll be interesting to see how that translates to the finished product.

One thing that was highlighted was the fact that Foerster is the first female director to take the Underworld rudder. Beckinslae first joked that, "I'm all about as many vaginas being involved as possible," before "seriously, though"-ing with, "I'm hoping that, in a few years, the conversation about having a female director will be different." The crowd responded enthusiastically there.

In fact, crowd response throughout the panel was infectiously vociferous, with Q&A participants lavishing Beckinsale with praise and comments that she's been a role model for them. Beckinsale self-deprecated in response, but James said that the fan dedication he's seen since becoming a part of Underworld world "gives the series a sense of history." 

If the enthusiasm on display at this panel translates to the box office, there's no reason not to believe that Underworld will be back for a sixth entry, which is kind of crazy. We'll have to wait and see how things unfold when Beckinsale takes up her dual guns in 2017.

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