"Underworld 3: The Rise of the Lycans" is the title for the third installment in Sony's Screen Gems and Lakeshore Entertainment's horror series reports the trades.
Creature FX creator Patrick Tatopoulos will make his directorial debut with the prequel, which starts production in January in New Zealand.
The story is set in the Dark Ages and traces the origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires and their one-time werewolf slaves, the Lycans.
A young Lycan named Lucian emerges as a powerful leader who rallies the werewolves to rise up against Viktor, the cruel vampire king who has enslaved them. Lucian is joined by his secret lover, Sonja, in his battle against the Death Dealer army and his struggle for Lycan freedom.
Michael Sheen will reprise his role of Lycan master Lucian. Bill Nighy also will return as vampire elder Viktor. Rhona Mitra ("The Number 23") is joining the cast as Viktor's daughter Sonja.
Kate Beckinsale will not appear in the prequel. Len Wiseman, who directed the first two films, will produce. Danny McBride, who co-wrote the first two screenplays with Wiseman, penned the third script.