Who? You may not know the names Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein if you’re not (a) Swedish or (b) in the UK. The pair have made, among other things, the Swedish thriller Storm (2005), and the thriller Shelter (2009) with Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, which has hit territories including the UK and Japan, but not the US.

Now the pair are negotiating a deal to direct what is being referred to in trades as Underworld 4.

THR says the film is set to shoot in March 2011 in Vancouver with (as we knew) Kate Beckinsale returning as Selene. The script is by Shield veteran John Hlavin, which is a promising factor, with rewrites by J. Michael Straczynski. A  January 20, 2012 release is planned.

We’ve heard that Seline will have a daughter in this film, which is likely to be given a title other than Underworld 4. It’s also a fairly safe bet that the film will be shot in 3D, but we don’t have confirmation on that point yet. Beyond that, this barrels straight into “if you don’t have anything nice to say” territory for me, so let’s just go to the recap of what we’ve known over the past few months…

Previously:

Lakeshore Entertainment honcho Tom Rosenberg said almost two years ago that the fourth film would be meant to carry on with Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman’s story as left off at the end of Underworld 2. But two years is a long time, and I wouldn’t put too much stock in that assertion now. Len Wiseman is producing, but that’s not news — he’s produced all three and we knew for certain that he’d be on this one, too.

All we’ve got is a quote from John Hlavin, who says the film definitely isn’t another prequel. “It will satisfy old fans and excite new audiences,” he says, “meaning that we don’t want to redo the first three movies, so steps are being taken to honor what fans have loved but at the same time introduce fresh elements.”

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