Rise of the Lycans
Rotl poster
Theatrical Poster

Directed by

Patrick Tatopoulos

Produced by

Len Wiseman; Tom Rosenberg; Gary Lucchesi; Skip Williamson

Written by

Len Wiseman; Danny McBride

Release date



Screen Gems (Sony)


Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is the third installment of this vampires vs werewolves franchise.  Within the storyline, this is a prequel to the other two installments, Underworld and Underworld: Evolution.


  • Michael Sheen - Lucian
  • Rhona Mitra - Sonja
  • Bill Nighy - Viktor
  • Kevin Grevioux - Raze
  • Steven Mackintosh - Andreas Tanis


The films opens with a rider on horseback racing through the night woods being chased by savage werewolves. When the rider approaches the fortress, the guards on the battlements fire huge bolts at the beasts. The rider just makes it safely into the courtyard, and it is revealed that this is Sonja, daughter of the Vampire elder, Viktor.

Lucian, who had been born in captivity and raised in the castle, had fired the killing blow that had stopped one beast from completing its desire of killing Sonja. He now works as a smith, making weapons and the silver collars that keep his fellow prisoners from transforming into their Lycan forms. Viktor thanked him, but when he sees Lucian staring at Sonja, reminds him of his place, and that he is nothing more than a slave.

Later, we see Lucian sneaking out of the fortress and up a mountain side to a hidden plateau. As he waits at the the top a cloaked figure appears, it is Sonja. They embrace, and it is revealed that they have a secret love affair that would not be tolerated by the Vampire's society.

Lucian tells Sonja that he intends to leave, as he can no longer live in captivity. He begs Sonja to leave with him, but she fears for his safety, and advises him that he would be hunted down and killed. He feels that this would be a preferable fate that a live of servitude.

As they separate in the empty courtyard of the fortress, they give each other one last longing stare. This is unfortunately witnessed by Andreas Tanis, the scribe of Viktor. He does not alert the guards but gives stores this information for future use.

We learn that Viktor discovered Lucian, born in human form, from a werewolf mother. Rather than kill Lucian, he decides to raise him, and train him as a warrior. He then forces the young Lucian to turn other humans into Lycans much like himself. Viktor now has an army of day time guardians that he believes are more controllable than the feral werewolves.

Viktor has a tacit relationship with the human noble population of the area, whereupon he agreed to protect them from the wild werewolves that roam the countryside in exchange for a tithe.

As a collection of human nobles come to meet the vampire council, Sonja goes out to guard them despite Viktor demanding her presence at the council. Lucian senses that the werewolves are massing in the escort party. Fearing for Sonja's safety, he risks severe punishment as he steals a horse and sword from a nearby Death Dealer. When he arrives, wild werewolves are attacking and killing the nobles, and Sonja is fighting them off also. Lucian uses a secret key he has made to his collar, removing it and allowing his to change so that he can engage in the battle. The wild werewolves back down when he howls, sensing some connection between themselves and him. Lucian is then shot down by Viktor's men, despite Viktor grudgingly acknowledging that Lucian saved his daughter. Viktor is furious at Lucian for removing his collar, and as he reminds him that he has broken the rules. Viktor locks Lucian away, but not before having him lashed thirty times with a bladed whip.

Sonja secretly visits Sonja, and he tells her that he must escape. He suspects that Tanis knows of their affair and asks her to speak to him to discover why he has not revealed their secret to Viktor.

Sonja confronts Tanis, who in exchange for her seat on the Vampire council, agrees to help her see Lucian and help him escape.

Sonja and Lucian arrange to meet in 3 days time, then he and the majority of the other Lycans make their way out of the fortress. Unfotunately, the guards are alerted and start to fire on the Lycans with their large bolts. Some remain trapped, while only a few escape with Lucian, but he swears that he will return for them.

Viktor visits Sonja, to discover if she had any involvement in Lucian's escape, but is incensed to discover that she is in a relationship with the Lycan. He imprisons his daughter and places guards on her room.

When Lucian learns about Sonja's imprisonment he sets out to rescue her. However, this was a well baited trap that Lucian fell for, and although he gets Sonja out of her room, they are stopped in the courtyard of the fortress. Lucian is at the point of being captured again, when Sonja confronts Viktor. Sonja discloses to him that she is pregnant with Lucian's child, and so Viktor is left with no choice but to sentence her to death for her crime.

Lucian is chained, and forced to witness her death. The vampires leave her in a room, tied to a stake, as the ceiling parts to let in the sun. When the vampires return, the sight of Viktor angers Lucian to the point where despite his bonds, he is able to transform. He makes it as far as he battlements, under constant fire from the Death Dealers. He lets out a huge howl, which summons both the wild werewolves and the freed Lycans. Lucian's army then attack the coven and overwhelm it in a fierce battle.

Finally Lucian faces Viktor in combat and they battle their way to the dungeons. The fight continues back and forth until Lucian skewers, and knocks him down a well.

Lucian declares this victory as only the beginning of what will surely be a war between the races, one bred for slavery and the other born into privilege. In the closing scene we see a boat containing Tanis leading a very alive Viktor, into a hibernation chamber next to one for the other two elders.