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Interview: Chicago ‘Underworld: Rise of the Lycans’ Writer Kevin Grevioux on Science-Based Vampires

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CHICAGO – While Alfred Hitchcock and more recently M. Night Shyamalan have teetered between whether or not to write roles for themselves into their own scripts, there’s no tottering for Chicago-born Marvel Comics writer and “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans” character creator Kevin Grevioux.

For the inside story behind the 2009 “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans” film from the lips of the “Underworld” character creator (the original Kate Beckinsdale film opened in 2003), HollywoodChicago.com sat down with the vastly brawny and distinctly deep-voiced Kevin Grevioux on the film that makes the series a trilogy.

Rhona Mitra stars in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Rhona Mitra stars in “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans”.
Photo credit: Lakeshore Entertainment Group

“When I wrote the original ‘Underworld’ script, I had my role in it and I knew what I had to do,” Grevioux said in a Chicago interview with HollywoodChicago.com editor-in-chief Adam Fendelman on the topic of his Lycan (werewolf) character named Raze. “I had to taper it to make sure it fit well within the film. I had to make it big enough but not too small.”

Grevioux continued: “After I finished my screenplay, the other writers (Len Wiseman and Danny McBride) were making the role bigger. We all were. But I said at one point: ‘Hold up, fellas. We can’t go down this path. If this role is too big, then they’re gonna get LL Cool J or whoever is the flavor-of-the-month black man to play it and I won’t be able to.’”

That’s when Grevioux knew it was time to defend his own character holy grail. He added: “So we tapered it down some so it would be cool for me but not as attractive to a bigger actor.”

This was at a time when Grevioux was new in the industry and hadn’t yet earned today’s prized Hollywood star power. He added: “At the time, none of us had done a film before. We were all new and had no power. I identify myself more as a writer than an actor. Acting is something I fell into because I had the look – whatever that means – or distinctiveness. But writing is really where I flourish. I have a wealth of ideas.”

To understand Grevioux’s “Underworld” writing in contrast to so many other vampire incarnations including the hit 2008 film “Twilight,” its 2009 sequel “New Moon,” “True Blood” on HBO, all the Anne Rice vampire novels and the underrated foreign child vampire film “Let the Right One In,” one must understand the source from which he derived his vampire and werewolf perspective.

Michael Sheen (left) and Kevin Grevioux star in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Michael Sheen (left) and Kevin Grevioux star in “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans”.
Photo credit: Lakeshore Entertainment Group

As a self-professed conspiracy theorist and sci-fi fanatic with science degrees in microbiology and genetic engineering, Grevioux didn’t write “Underworld” vampires with the typical sense of mysticism. Instead, he created them through science in the way he believes they actually could be.

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Anonymous's picture

Rise of Lycans Fan

Im glad Kevin is back in this Film franchise…he was hosed by the studio IMO in Evolution while the characters where HIS creation to begin with.

They fleshed out the story line of Raze, Lucian, Viktor,etc much clearer.

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