Selene was born to a Hungarian family. Her father was a well-know architect who helped design the fortress for a general named Viktor. The fortress was actually a dungeon intended for the imprisonment of the Lycan Elder William Corvinus, condemned for his bloody and destructive behavior as a definite persona non grata for Viktor. After Lycans presumably killed her family, Selene was the only one left alive who had walked through the corridors of the fortress. However, she did not know that her family was slain by Viktor himself, and believed Viktor saved her from the Lycans. The night her family was killed, she was made into a vampire by Viktor.
She became a Death Dealer, fighting the Lycans for vengeance, because of the atrocities she believed they committed against her family. She continued her Death dealing duties, until she awakened Viktor from hibernation before his time had come. Through a series of rather unfortunate happenings, it is revealed to Selene that her family wasn't killed by Lycans, but instead by Viktor and his lackeys because of their insatiable hunger for human blood.
Selene later murders Viktor, and attempts to run away with Michael, the hybrid. They both eventually fight both Markus and William, the first vampire and first werewolf, in the second film. The brothers are defeated, Selene's own kind is now hunting her, and both she and Michael are now on the run. It is also revealed that now Selene can survive in the sun, due to drinking the blood of the first immortal Alexander Corvinus.
Selene and the Underworld universe were originally created by Kevin Grevioux, an American actor and comic book writer, Len Wiseman and Danny McBride. The character made her on screen debut in the 2003 movie Underworld, and in it's sequel Underworld Evolution. Selene is portrayed by the English actress Kate Beckinsale in both films, and is set to reprise the role in Underworld: New Dawn, set for a 2012 release.
In the first film Selene is an emotionally detached killing machine, capable of brutal acts of violence. She has only disdain for the Aristocrats vampires of the coven, preferring to mix only with the hardened warrior vampires known as death dealers.
Despite her emotional distance she has shown to have had a father, daughter, relationship with the vampire elder Viktor, until she learns that it was he who murdered her parents and not the Lycans, which he had lead her to believe. Her heart begins to soften somewhat after meeting Michael Corvin.
At the beginning of Underworld Evolution, Selene still possesses her seemingly detected nature, but to a some what less degree. She is first seen with the newly turned vampire lycan hybrid Michael Corvin, the two are on the run, fearing retribution from the coven after murdering Viktor out of revenge and to save Michael.
After an unfortunate series of events, which lead to the last vampire elder Markus being awakened, Selene begins to undergo a rather rapid personality change. After the pair narrowly escape an attack by Markus, the two become closer and finally give in to their desire for one another. As the film continues, Selene is seen to be in a somewhat mischievous mood as they go in search of the exiled Vampire historian, Andreas Tanis, although as seen when she casually kills his two lovers, she has lost none of her killer instincts.
However, her new found happiness would not last long, Markus eventually catches up with the two at the home of the mysterious Alexander Corvinus, who is revealed to be the progenitor of both the Vampire and Lycan species, as well as the first true immortal. In the ensuing fight Micahel is mortally wounded by Markus and dies in Selene's arms.
Selene shows for the first time the extent of her love for Michael, as she uncharacteristically becomes increasingly distressed as she tries to revive him, while sobbing over his body. Michael's death causes her to become even more cold and lethal than ever before. After speaking briefly with the dying Alexander, Selene drinks his blood per his request, when she asks what will happen he simply says that she will become the future. During the final battle with the first vampire Markus, and the first Lycan, William, Selene is out matched by the two despite her increased strength.
She is saved by the newly returned to life Michael, it is revealed that his Hybrid physiology allowed him to return to life. Selene and Michael triumph over the vampire and Lycan brothers, and happily embrace, as Selene realizes she is standing in direct sunlight and that it is having no ill effects on her. This is presumably what Alexander Corvinus meant when he said she would become the future. Selene says that while the future looks grim, she now looks into the light with new hope, Marking a stark contrast from the first film, were she hoped for nothing, and sort only revenge.
Powers and Abilities
Selene possesses most of the superhuman powers attributed to the vampires of myth. However, in the Underworld universe, the vampires and not a product of magic or the supernatural, but of a virus. A vampires bite releases the virus and begins to aggressively spread through the human body. Many do not survive the transformation into an immortal and die within an hour of the process beginning. A vampires eyes are usually an electric blue or gold, this seems to depend on who they were turned by, their canine teeth also lengthen into fangs which cannot be retracted.
Selene possesses great physical strength, she is able to lift many times her own body weight, and can strike with enough force to kill a human with one blow. How strong a vampire becomes depends on their age and who they were turned by, Selene being turned by the elder vampire Viktor who is immensely powerful, is likely to have been far stronger than the average vampire even when first turned. As seen in Underworld: Awakening she can now lift approximately eight thousand pounds, she is seen flipping a Van with an elongated back with ease.
Selene is able to run and react at speeds beyond humanly possible. She can move with enough speed to dodge gun fire, and is even able to outrun a powerful Lycan, that can run many times faster than horses. In Underworld Awakening she cuts the throats of six Lycans in their human forms before they can shoot her.
Agility and Coordination
Selene has shown to be capable of performing complicated acrobatic maneuvers effortlessly. She seems to have a perfect equilibrium and has only been seen to stumble or struggle with physical maneuvers when suffering from blood loss.
She is able to perform strenuous physical activity for great lengths before tiring. After outrunning the Lycan Raze she appeared slightly out of breath, but recovered to normal in seconds. After her enhancement in Underworld Evolution she is several times stronger than her former self.
All vampires are able to recover from injury extremely fast, small cuts heal within seconds, while larger wounds may take up to an hour. The consumption of human blood speeds up the healing process. She can regenerate from gun shot wounds in a matter of seconds, she was shot several times in the back and didn't even seem to feel any pain.
Selene's body has a high resistance to injury, she has taken a shotgun blast to the stomach at point black range and received know injury. She has taken a 10 story drop and casually walked away, so we can assume her skeletal structure and muscles are much stronger than a humans.
Selene's senses are enhanced to animal keen levels.
Elder vampires have the ability to transfer their memories into a single cohesive vision, through the sharing of blood. This is seen to be extremely difficult skill and only elders attempt it. They use this power to pass on a detailed record of their reign to the sleeping elder they wish to awaken. Selene is capable of this and used it to awaken Viktor when she discovered Kraven's treachery, but due to her inexperience, she left Viktor with incoherent thoughts and images which he found hard to process.
Weapons and Equipment
Selene is well trained in the use of many weapons, she usually carries two machine pistols with both rapid fire and single shot settings. She has been seen using many fire arms but mainly favors small arms weapons and is seen several times with the Walther P99 handgun.
Selene usually dresses in black clothing, she wears a long leather trench coat with many clips and hooks to hold her guns and ammunition. She carries UV as well as Silver nitrate bullets. In the Underworld films Selene first drives a Jaguar XJ series 3, but later favors a Maserati 3200 GT.
Selene and the Underworld universe have appeared in several other media formats.
IDW Publishing released the first three films in a graphic novel format. The book has various contributions from several artist such as Nick Postic, Antonio Vazquez, and Andrew Huerta, with Kevin Gevioux as the writer.
Three novels have been released to date by author Greg Cox and are novelizations of the three films. The books serve to expand on the universe created in the films and add details and character background story cut from the film to cut down on the films run time. Greg Cox has also released an all original novel set in the Underworld universe.
Underworld: Blood Enemy, is a prequel set a few months before the first film, it follows Selene and Lucian, and give back story to the relationship between Lucian and Sonia. The novel was released several years before Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and has many contradictions with the finished film. This novel is not considered cannon.