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‘Underworld’ Director Initially Had Doubts About the Movie’s Success

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Underworld Director's Success Story

In the world of filmmaking, the journey from conception to the big screen is often riddled with uncertainty and apprehension. This was no different for director Len Wiseman, whose directorial debut, “Underworld,” recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. In an exclusive interview with FilmSweep’s Carly Lane, Wiseman opened up about the challenges and doubts he faced while bringing this action-packed vampire vs. werewolf saga to life.

From the very beginning, Wiseman found himself grappling with skepticism about whether audiences would embrace the story of Selene, portrayed by the talented Kate Beckinsale, and the age-old conflict between lycans and vampires. Several factors contributed to his uncertainty. Firstly, Wiseman was a newcomer to the director’s chair, making “Underworld” his first foray into feature filmmaking. Additionally, the production of the film was constrained by a modest budget, an unusual predicament for an action movie of this caliber. To compound matters, for the first half of the production, there was no distribution company on board. These circumstances led Wiseman to entertain the notion that “Underworld” might be relegated to the realm of straight-to-DVD releases, a fate that many films in 2003 shared. The director admitted to contemplating, “If this does really well and people notice it, if this goes straight to video, but they think it’s cool, maybe it’ll find an audience. But I truly was not expecting it to.”

The turning point in Wiseman’s belief in the film’s potential arrived with the involvement of Screen Gems and the gradual appearance of billboards featuring “Underworld.” Wiseman vividly recalled this pivotal moment, when he began to perceive the project as an “actual movie.” The sight of billboards promoting the film alongside the likes of Marvel’s “Daredevil” signaled to him that there might be more to his creation than he initially thought. Ironically, while “Daredevil” would go on to have a lukewarm reception in the annals of Marvel cinema, “Underworld” defied expectations and emerged as a surprise hit. The franchise not only gave birth to four sequels but also cultivated a dedicated fanbase that remains loyal to the saga to this day. Its box office success, which exceeded half a billion dollars, also played a pivotal role in elevating the careers of both Len Wiseman and Kate Beckinsale.

As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of “Underworld,” the film’s legacy endures, reminding us that even the most uncertain beginnings can lead to unexpected triumphs in the world of cinema. For more insights from Len Wiseman on the making of “Underworld,” continue reading our exclusive interview on FilmSweep.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Underworld Director’s Success Story

Q: Why did Len Wiseman have doubts about the success of “Underworld”?

A: Len Wiseman, the director of “Underworld,” had doubts primarily because it was his first-ever feature film, and he was relatively new to directing. Additionally, the film had a limited budget, which was unusual for an action movie of its kind. Furthermore, for a significant portion of the production, there was no distribution company involved, leading him to fear that it might end up with a straight-to-DVD release.

Q: When did Len Wiseman start to believe in the movie’s potential?

A: Wiseman’s belief in the movie’s potential began to grow when Screen Gems came on board as the distributor, and billboards promoting “Underworld” started to appear. Seeing the film advertised at the same level as Marvel’s “Daredevil” made him realize that it was becoming an actual, potentially successful movie.

Q: How did “Underworld” perform at the box office?

A: “Underworld” defied expectations and became a surprise hit. It not only spawned four sequels but also cultivated a dedicated fanbase. The franchise earned over half a billion dollars at the box office, contributing significantly to the success of both Len Wiseman and Kate Beckinsale’s careers.

More about Underworld Director’s Success Story

  • [20th Anniversary of “Underworld” Interview](insert link to the FilmSweep interview)
  • [Len Wiseman](insert link to Len Wiseman’s profile or related articles)
  • [Kate Beckinsale](insert link to Kate Beckinsale’s profile or related articles)
  • [Screen Gems](insert link to Screen Gems’ website or relevant information)
  • [Marvel’s “Daredevil”](insert link to information about the “Daredevil” movie)
  • [Box Office Performance of “Underworld”](insert link to box office statistics or relevant article)

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1 comment

Cinephile247 September 21, 2023 - 2:15 am

Budget issues? No distro? Whoa, didn’t c that coming. But, look at ‘Underworld’ now! HUGE!


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