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Most of us thought we’d seen the last of the Underworld franchise after the piss poor box office performance of Underworld 2 earlier this year. But it looks like Underworld 3 is happening anyway, probably because these movies make so little to make that it’s not very hard to turn a profit, even with lackluster audience attendance.

The third movie will again be written and directed by Len Wiseman, but even more surprising than its existence is the news from MTV that Kate Beckinsale will not be allowed to reprise her role as the vampire Selene in the film. She told them in a recent interview that she's out, even though in the opinion of most she's the best thing about both of the previous movies, and she’s also Len Wiseman’s wife, so you’d think she’d have no problem getting the gig if she wanted it. But Wiseman is taking the franchise in a different, cringe-worthy direction: He’s making a prequel.

Few things kick audiences into instant power-down mode faster than the word “prequel”, but it’s not like Underworld 3 was hotly anticipated anyway and it’s probably better for Kate Beckinsale’s career long run to stay far away from it. This is a pretty good thing for her, to be able to move on to something that people might actually want to see without having to tell her husband “no thanks”. However, it’s hard to see how this could possibly be a good thing for the Underworld series, to ditch it’s star and the only good thing about it in favor of new characters fans care even less about.

Don’t be surprised if Underworld 3 ends up straight to video.