In a world where vampires and werewolves have become pop culture staples, it’s hard to believe that the iconic ‘Underworld’ franchise almost never happened. As the first film celebrates its 20th anniversary, let’s dive into the behind-the-scenes story of how ‘Underworld’ came to be, straight from the horse’s mouth, director Len Wiseman.
A Generic Desire Sparks Creativity
The genesis of ‘Underworld’ is a testament to creativity emerging from the most unlikely of sources. Picture this: Production company Dimension had a rather generic desire – they wanted to launch a werewolf franchise. That’s it. No detailed plot, no elaborate concept. Just a notion. And who did they turn to? Len Wiseman, a director with a background in music videos, who at the time, wasn’t even a die-hard fan of werewolves. Wiseman recalled this unique challenge: “I didn’t know what to do with that. But I really wanted to make a movie, and so it was an opportunity.”
With this blank canvas, Wiseman, along with co-creators Kevin Grievoux and Danny McBride, embarked on a creative journey to breathe life into the idea. The question on their minds: “What’s a new type of opponent for a werewolf?” The answer? Vampires. This simple yet groundbreaking twist transformed the project from a run-of-the-mill werewolf tale into something fresh and exciting.
Vampires vs. Werewolves – A Unique Approach
The trio soon realized that pitting vampires against werewolves was a path largely unexplored in mainstream cinema. But they didn’t stop there. To infuse the story with even more conflict and depth, they drew inspiration from Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ Yes, you heard that right – a tragic love story amid a supernatural war.
Armed with this innovative pitch, they eagerly presented it to Dimension, expecting the green light. However, the response they received was far from enthusiastic: “They were not interested.” It was a setback, but it didn’t deter Wiseman and his team.
Perseverance Pays Off
The road to getting ‘Underworld’ made was paved with determination and persistence. Undeterred by the initial rejection, Wiseman spent the next six months refining the story and creating compelling artwork to help production companies visualize his vision. Slowly but surely, the project gained traction.
‘Underworld’ not only proved itself as a formidable title but also birthed four sequels, expanding the lore of vampires and werewolves in a way that few could have imagined. The franchise became a beloved part of the action-horror genre and remains a fan favorite to this day.
As we celebrate two decades of ‘Underworld,’ we can’t help but marvel at the creativity that emerged from a seemingly generic desire. It’s a testament to the power of innovation and determination in the world of filmmaking. So, next time you watch Selene battle lycans on the big screen, remember that this epic saga almost never saw the light of day.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Creativity Triumphs
Q: How did the idea for ‘Underworld’ originate?
A: The idea for ‘Underworld’ originated from a rather generic desire by the production company Dimension to start a werewolf franchise. Director Len Wiseman, who wasn’t even a fan of werewolves at the time, was tasked with developing the entire concept and pitching it to them. This unique challenge led to the innovative concept of vampires vs. werewolves.
Q: Why did the creators decide to pit vampires against werewolves in ‘Underworld’?
A: The creators of ‘Underworld’ realized that the concept of vampires vs. werewolves was largely unexplored in mainstream cinema at the time. To add depth and conflict to the story, they drew inspiration from Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ infusing a tragic love story into the supernatural war.
Q: How did Dimension initially respond to the pitch for ‘Underworld’?
A: When Len Wiseman and his team pitched the idea of ‘Underworld’ to Dimension, the response was not enthusiastic. Dimension was initially not interested in the concept. However, this setback didn’t deter the creators.
Q: What did Len Wiseman do to overcome the initial rejection of ‘Underworld’?
A: To overcome the initial rejection, Len Wiseman and his team persevered. They spent six months refining the story and creating compelling artwork to help production companies visualize their vision. Their determination eventually led to the project gaining traction.
Q: How did ‘Underworld’ evolve into a successful franchise?
A: ‘Underworld’ not only became a successful film but also spawned four sequels. Its unique take on the vampire vs. werewolf theme and the infusion of a Romeo and Juliet twist resonated with audiences, making it a beloved part of the action-horror genre.
More about Creativity Triumphs
Underworld (2003) – IMDb: Check out the IMDb page for the first ‘Underworld’ movie to learn more about the film’s cast and crew.
Len Wiseman – IMDb: Explore Len Wiseman’s IMDb page to discover more about the director and his other works.
Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ – Wikipedia: Learn about the classic play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare, which served as an inspiration for ‘Underworld.’
[20 Years of Underworld: How It All Began – FilmSweep](Insert URL when available): Visit the FilmSweep article for a detailed look at the 20th-anniversary celebration of ‘Underworld’ and its behind-the-scenes story.
Dimension Films – Wikipedia: Gain insights into Dimension Films, the production company that initially desired to start a werewolf franchise and played a pivotal role in the creation of ‘Underworld.’