Written by Sarah

Underworld 4 was announced as a go yesterday, with Kate Beckinsale returning as ass-kicking vampire Selene. Production is slated for March 2011 in Vancouver and Kate’s husband Len Wiseman is producing, but he is currently hunting for a director so he won’t be helming the project. No word on whether Bill Nighy, Michael Sheen, or Scott Speedman will be back.

Nighy I can see signing up because he’ll be in anything if you pay him enough, and it’s not like Speedman is really doing anything these days, so if they want him back you have to think he’d do it. But I don’t see anything in it for Sheen at this point. He’s coming off an Emmy nomination (for HBO’s The Special Relationship), flirting with Rachel McAdams, gearing up to do press for one of the biggest releases of the year (TRON: Legacy), and is getting a little buzz going for Beautiful Boy which just premiered at TIFF. Sheen is little past Underworld, isn’t he?

But not Kate. For Kate, returning to Underworld makes a lot of sense. She hasn’t really stood out in anything since The Aviator in 2004, and last year’s Whiteout completely tanked. Some people are down on Kate about this, calling the move a desperate act by a failing actress but I actually see it as a chance to refresh her public persona. No one is going to expect Underworld 4 to be a huge hit—a moderate success would be enough to realign Kate’s career path. With Underworld 4 she’s getting back to what people liked about her in the first place. She can pick up the thread she dropped and begin building again from there.

Kate is swallowing some pride and taking a step back in order to take a step forward. It’s not a move many actresses could make. Jennifer Aniston certainly hasn’t shown any signs of figuring this out. But Kate may have learned that all the posturing and try-hardery in the world won’t get you anywhere if no one sees your movies. So she’s going back to Underworld and her fanboys to remind them why they love her. If Underworld 4 is successful, and if the fanboys swarm back to her, well then it’s a fresh set of downs. At 37 in Hollywood, that’s almost a new life.

Written by Sarah
Photos from Wenn.com