September 25, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

The ending of ”Underworld” all but lays out a blueprint for a sequel, and when the movie opened at No. 1 at the box office last weekend, a sequel seemed inevitable. The film’s $22 million take was the best opening weekend for any movie in the history of Sony Pictures’ Screen Gems arm. Now, Variety confirms that a deal for more vampires-vs.-werewolves warfare is in the works for writer-director Len Wiseman and cowriter Danny McBride. In fact, not only will they make a sequel, but Screen Gems also has the option for a prequel as well.

There’s no deal yet for Kate Beckinsale, who stars as vampire warrior princess Selene, but Variety says she’s expressed interest in returning. No wonder, since Wiseman became her fiancé after the ”Underworld” shoot. No word on whether Michael Sheen, who plays werewolf leader Lucian, might return to the franchise. He, of course, was Beckinsale’s offscreen boyfriend for seven years and the father of their 4-year-old daughter, Lily. Hey, who needs vampires and werewolves when we could watch a clash among Wiseman, Beckinsale, and Sheen?

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