Underworld’s throat-slashing vampires team up with humans in flat 3D

We got a brief glimpse at the fourth Underworld movie, in which Kate Beckinsale's vinyl-coated vampire joins forces with humans. And this time, the vampire war is in gun-shooting, throat-slashing 3D.

Underworld: Awakening is still in production, and director Len Wiseman didn't have any completed scenes to show, instead offering a 3D sizzle reel of moments from the film. At the start of Awakening, the death-dealing vampire Selene has been has spent fifteen years in a coma in a lab. Human scientists have been studying her, and one refers to her as a "blight against nature." Selene's eyes flutter open, and like any good action star, she hacks and slashes her way out of the lab. The highlight is a sequence where four or five guards have their guns trained on Selene, who holds only a knife. She crouches, and speeds past them more quickly than the eye can see. When she stops, her knife is bloody, and all the guards are clutching their slashed throats.

The reel also shows a handful of human characters (including one who looks pale enough to be a vampire himself), while a vampire scolds Selene for inviting humans into the vampire coven. Wiseman explained that each installment in the Underworld series has a different focus, and this one focuses on the humans. In previous movies, the vampires were a hidden culture, and much of the focus was on the vampires hiding themselves from humanity. In this film, humans are aware of the existence of vampires and become a larger part of the story – although we will still see Lycans, including Michael, in the new installment. Wiseman said he has been tossing around ideas for future movies but, contrary to rumors, he'll never send the Underworld vamps to space.

The production team learned that Awakening would be released in 3D late in the game, and it shows. The were some sequences that were an obvious attempt to make use of 3D action gimmicks – notably, the main human character wields some sort of thick, whip-like weapon – but the moments look strangely flat, as if the figures are cutouts standing in front of a screen.

Looking ahead to the Blu-Ray release, Wiseman announced that the Awakening Blu-Ray would contain a series of animated shorts created by the studio Titmouse. The series will fill in some of the temporal holes in series (perhaps filling in that time gap between Awakening and Rise of the Lycans?), and show "an evolution of the characters."