Underworld ....Subject: Plot Structure
In "Underworld," Viktor (Bill Nighy), a powerful vampire, commits a tragic deed that dooms him to a specific fate and turns him into a mythical
archetype, a specific type of character.
His tragic deed leads to a process in which a cause-and-effect chain of events is repeated.
The result of these events is a violent confrontation between Viktor and Selene (Kate Beckinsale), the woman he adopted and turned into a vampire after her family was allegedly killed by werewolves.
The confrontation between Viktor and Selene takes place because of a series of violent events he sets in motion.
600 years ago, Viktor committed the tragic deed of killing his own vampire daughter,
Sonja (Jazmin Damak), who had fallen in love with a werewolf named Lucian (Michael Sheen) and had become pregnant with Lucian's child, a creature that would be half vampire and half werewolf.
Viktor wanted to protect the purity of the vampire coven by preventing vampires and werewolves from joining together as one species.
But, by killing Sonja, he infuriated Lucian, who then had the werewolf coven wage a bloody war against the vampires that would eventually doom Viktor to a fate determined by Selene, a woman vampire.
This fate would involve Viktor being killed by Selene and would result in Viktor
becoming an archetype known as an antihero, a type of character who pursues an honorable goal in a dishonorable way and is punished for doing so.
At the beginning of the chain of events that leads to his death, his adopted vampire daughter, Selene, inherits the war between the vampires and werewolves and becomes a
"death dealer," a hunter who tries to destroy the last remnants of the werewolf species.
She discovers that soldiers from a werewolf coven are pursuing Michael Corvin (Scott
Speedman), a human who is a medical intern.
When she investigates the reason why the werewolves are trying to capture Michael, her
commander--an interim leader named Kraven (Shane Brolly)--asserts his authority over her to prevent her from continuing her investigation.
"This is completely unacceptable," Kraven tells her.
"You go against my orders and spend the night away from the shelter of the mansion with a human [Michael Corvin], a human that you've since brought back into my house."
Selene responds to him angrily: "As far as I'm concerned, this is still Viktor's house ."
Viktor is one of three vampire overlords who take turns ruling the vampire coven.
Each of the overlords who isn't ruling during the current point in time remains in a state of sleep and is entombed in an underground coffin.
But, Selene is angry that Kraven, the current leader of the vampires, is doing nothing to find out why the werewolves are pursuing the human named Michael and whether the werewolves have multiplied in number.
So, she awakens the vampire overlord, Viktor, from a state of sleep.
He immediately demands an explanation for his unexpected and unauthorized
awakening, and she says that Lucian--the werewolf leader who was thought to be dead--is alive and is therefore a threat to the vampire coven.
Viktor stubbornly refuses to believe that Lucian is alive.
So, she gives Viktor proof, showing that the interim vampire leader, Kraven, is working with the werewolf leader, Lucian, to turn Michael Corvin, a human, into a hybrid creature that is half vampire and half werewolf.
Selene is, however, in love with Michael, who has already been bitten by Lucian and is becoming a werewolf.
And, this love affair leads to a violent showdown between Viktor and Selene.
She wants to protect Michael and to be Michael's lover.
She knows that the only way to do so is by making him into a creature that is more powerful than a vampire--a hybrid that is half vampire and half werewolf.
But, Viktor considers this type of hybrid to be an "abomination."
He killed his own vampire daughter, Sonja, for trying to bear a child that would have been a vampire-werewolf hybrid.
Selene becomes willing to turn Michael into such a hybrid after learning that it was Viktor, not werewolves, who murdered her human family.
During the confrontation that takes place at the climax of "Underworld," Selene protects Michael by using her sword to kill Viktor.
So, Viktor has been doomed to the fate of death for behaving dishonorably while protecting the vampire species.
This behavior involves killing his own daughter, Sonja, and killing the family of his
adopted daughter, Selene.
He has betrayed his biological family and his adopted family, in that way becoming a mythical archetype known as an antihero, a person who pursues an honorable goal in a dishonorable way.
His honorable goal was to protect the vampire species from death by preserving the genetic purity of vampires.
He failed to achieve this goal because of his dishonorable action of being disloyal to his
family. And, ironically, the result of his disloyalty was what he feared most: a vampire-werewolf hybrid.
To emulate the film, "Underworld," use the concepts known as fate and archetype for
your own screenplay:
A. Find news articles in which an antihero commits the tragic deed of hurting
or killing a family member.
The incident in which this person commits the tragic deed will be part of the
subject of your story.
The focus of your story will be his attempt at hiding his tragic deed from
another family member--someone who can be considered the protagonist
(heroine) of your story.
B. Define the main characteristics that make your protagonist (heroine)
inquisitive enough to investigate the true nature of this deed.:
does she view as her savior? A man whom her family views as an
outsider? A man who holds the answers to an ancient mystery? A man who
is willing to risk his life for her?
2. What does she do to protect her family from
an outside threat? Does she
hunt down those who could harm her family? Does she investigate the
activities of the people who could harm her family? Does she break the
rules of her own family?
3. When does she realize that she must risk losing her social status in order to
protect her family? After she learns that she's being betrayed by those who
have sworn to protect her? After a stranger protects her much more
diligently then family members?
4. Where does she experience the realization that she must re-define her idea
of who can be considered family? Is she in a location where someone she
cared about betrayed her? Is she in a place that reminds her of a tragic
experience she had as a child?
5. Why does she seek vengeance against a family member? Did this person
try to hurt someone who was kind to her? Has she discovered that a family
member has been deceiving her for a long time?
Describe the process in which the protagonist discovers the true nature of a
family member who has deceived her.
Define this process
1. Showing the protagonist investigating the activities of those who could harm
2. Showing the protagonist protecting someone her family views as an
Showing the protagonist doing battle with the family member who has