|“||Marcus, he's the one. The source. The first true Vampire.||”|
Marcus Corvinus was a member of the Corvinus Clan, the progenitor of the entire Vampire species, as well as a Vampire Elder. He was the main antagonist of Underworld: Evolution, along with his twin brother William Corvinus, the first Werewolf. He is one of the sons of Alexander Corvinus.
Born at some point in the mid to late 5th century, Marcus was one of the three known sons of Alexander Corvinus and his wife Helena, and the identical twin brother of William. Like his twin brother, Marcus inherited the Corvinus Strain in its active form, which had previously transformed his father into the first Immortal. Marcus shared a strong bond with his twin brother, whom he was closer to than anyone.
According to the prologue in the Rise of the Lycans novelization, both twins, overconfident due to the knowledge of the fact that they were both immortal, would go out riding at night, with the belief that nothing could hurt them. One such night, while the twins were riding through the paths of the dark forests of the Carpathian Mountains, they were beset by a huge, black furred rabid grey wolf, lunging out at them from the shadows of the trees. The wolf first attacked Marcus, who was unable to defend himself due to his panicking horse. William jumped in front of it and was able to kill the wolf with his sword, but not before it bit his wrist through his chain mail in its death throes. Marcus took his twin to a nearby inn to have his wounds seen to, but as the night wore on, William became seriously ill, developing a high fever, and was racked by convulsions. The Corvinus Strain present in William's body reacted in an immune response with the rabies virus and the wolf's DNA deposited by the wolf's bite, causing it to mutate, changing William's entire physical composition. Before the night was through, William had become the first Werewolf.
While William was bitten by a wolf and became the first Werewolf, Marcus was later, for still unknown circumstances, bitten by a rabid bat, mutating his Corvinus Strain with the bat DNA, resulting in his transformation into the first Vampire and the progenitor of the entire Vampire species.
William soon went on to ravage the countryside of Hungary, infecting the populace with his highly infectious lycanthropy virus. In order to combat the growing Werewolf threat, Marcus approached Viktor, a dying warlord, to borrow his military genius and army in exchange for immortality. Viktor accepted and became one of the Vampire Elders. Marcus also personally infected Amelia, as she was a Vampire Elder of similar age to Marcus and Viktor. With his army turned immortal, Viktor launched the Vampire-Werewolf War.
About 800 years later, in 1202 A.D., Viktor led a charge into a Hungarian village which William had previously passed through. Instead of finding only William, they found an entire village of newly turned Werewolves. Viktor's army (now the Death Dealers), including Amelia, subdued and severely injured William. Marcus pleaded for his brother's life, but he was betrayed by Amelia and Viktor, who meant to lock William away for life. Viktor, thinking that if any of the Corvinus brothers were killed, the Immortal bloodline would eventually die (a lie told by Marcus), locked William far away from the reach of Marcus. Marcus then swore vengeance against Viktor and all those loyal to him, but was able to do little, as the Death Dealers were loyal to Viktor alone.
As the army became the first Vampire Coven, the Chain was implemented, a system where only one Elder ruled while the other two slumbered in hibernation. Viktor, with the aid of Amelia and the Vampire Council, undercut Marcus's power at every turn, ensuring he would never have the strength to free his brother. Thus Viktor remained the true leader of the Vampires, going as far as to allow himself to be referred to as the "oldest and strongest" of them.
Marcus claimed that he enjoyed the company of Andreas Tanis, the official historian of the Coven, most likely because Tanis knew that Marcus was indeed the original Vampire.
Marcus' first appearance was in Underworld, though only briefly. On the eve on Marcus's Awakening for his century of rule, a Lycan plot to combine the Vampire and Werewolf bloodlines became evident. A captured Lycan scientist named Singe explained the plans of the Lycan leader named Lucian under duress - and was killed by a death blow from Viktor. His blood seeped into Marcus's tomb and revived the slumbering Vampire, changing him into a Vampire/Lycan Hybrid.
Following his Awakening, Marcus beheaded the treacherous Coven regent, Kraven, after learning his memories, and burned down the Old World Coven, Ördögház, slaughtering any Vampires unfortunate enough to be at the mansion at the time. From Kraven's memories, Marcus learned of Viktor and Amelia's deaths, meaning there was now no one to stand in his way.
Determined that the time has come to free William, Marcus sought out Selene, a Vampire Death Dealer who held half of the key to William's dungeon. He failed on the first attempt thanks to Michael Corvin, Selene's Hybrid lover, who is also a distant relative of Marcus. He learned from Tanis that the other half of the key is held by his father, who had retrieved it from Viktor's body, before killing Tanis and travelling to the Sancta Helena to retrieve Viktor's key.
There, Marcus attacks and seemingly kills Michael, then drinks
Selene's blood, learning the location of his brother's prison. Marcus then confronts his father, and mocks his "sentiments" about the world belonging to the human race, and accusing him of rejecting his own sons by standing by while William was imprisoned. He then reveals his true plan - to rule over a new race, one in his own image. He seeks to replace his "failed" race of Vampires who have followed Viktor more so than himself with that of Vampire/Lycan Hybrids. Marcus then severely injures his father and retrieves the other half of the key.
Journeying to the old fortress, Marcus proceeds to release William from his dungeon. Their bond is so strong that even the crazed William recognizes Marcus and refuses to harm him. They are soon interrupted by Selene and the survivors of his father's company.
Marcus combats Selene, and is enraged when a resurrected Michael fights and kills William. Marcus drives a wing talon through Selene, who survives due to her having previously drank of Alexander's blood. However, Marcus is distracted by the death of his twin at the hands of Michael, and is wracked by shock and grief. These emotions cause him to be temporarily stunned and off guard, and gives Selene her opportunity. She breaks off the tip of one of Marcus's talons and impales his head with it before shoving him backwards into the still whirling blades of a crashed helicopter, cutting him to pieces and killing him.
Underworld: Blood Wars
While the Vampire Council of the Eastern Coven has put a death warrant on Selene for killing Viktor, no mention is made of her being wanted for killing Marcus. Presumably Marcus's death was deemed justified as no one shows ill will over Selene killing him like they do Viktor. After the death of Marius, Selene is selected as one of three new Vampire Elders alongside David and Lena, replacing Marcus, Viktor, and Amelia.
Marcus also appears in the non-canon novel, Blood Enemy. Here he has a son named Nicolae, who Marcus considers to be a great disappointment. He and Nicolae argue constantly, and Marcus is disgusted by his son's hedonistic personality. In an effort to subdue Nicolae's behavior, Marcus and Viktor arrange a marriage between their two children, Nicolae and Sonja. This causes Sonja to become so distraught that she admits her pregnancy by the Lycan slave Lucian, and attempts to flee with him, leading to her execution at the hands of Viktor.
In Blood Enemy, the relationship between Viktor and Marcus does not appear to be strained, and Marcus speaks kindly to Viktor when informing him that his wife had been recently killed in an attack by mortals. Another notable change is Marcus's appearance; while his character in Evolution is bearded and has red hair, he is described in Blood Enemy as being clean shaven with black hair. This is due to Blood Enemy being written before the production of Evolution.
According to the prologue for the Rise of the Lycans novelization, Marcus, like his twin brother, was a careless and over-confident youth due to the knowledge of his immortality. As a by-product of their identical Corvinus Strain, Marcus shared a bond with his twin brother that their father could never see. When separated, the twins could sense each other's presence when they came within close proximity to one another. As such, they each shared a strong bond of loyalty to each other, closer than to anyone else, even other members of their family. Their bond was as such that Marcus alone was safe from William's aggression, following William becoming the first Werewolf, and even after centuries of captivity and starvation.
After William was bitten, Marcus's motivations for capturing his brother was both to protect William and any of his future victims, as well as to relieve his intense survivor's guilt. While Marcus could not deny that his brother posed an enormous threat to both human and Vampire kind alike, he remained steadfast in the delusion that he could bring his brother in from his bloodlust. So certain was Marcus of this, that he truly believed that he and William could rule the Vampire Coven together.
Viktor, however, knew that Marcus's continuous belief that he could control William was no more than a foolish dream. Viktor and Amelia's more realistic approach to William's condition would come to cause friction between the three Elders, and would eventually erupt into Marcus's loss of power on the night of his brother's capture. This pivotal moment would forever change Marcus, causing him to gradually lose his sanity over the centuries as he stewed in hatred and vengeful thoughts for his fellow Elders and their Coven.
By the time of the events of the present day, Marcus had gone far down the path of insanity, expressing the belief that it was the destiny of himself and his family to rule, planning to create a new Immortal race "in the image of their maker[s]", and with himself as their new "god". He is now sadistic, taking pleasure in biting victims just for the sheer pleasure of drinking their blood, aside from gaining information. His most despicable act was the slaying of his own father, which he did out of spite. His ruthlessness was even more significant than Viktor's, who expressed sorrow for his execution of Sonja, Marcus showed no remorse for harming or killing his own family members.
While Marcus was once sympathetic to the plight of the human and Vampire races at the mercy of the scores of the Werewolves packs roaming the countryside, the eight centuries spent wallowing in his hatred for Viktor and Amelia left Marcus so wound up in his thirst for vengeance and eventual madness that he no longer has any empathy for the suffering of others, particularly when they stand in the way of his goals. By the time of his death, Marcus can be seen as a violent and narcissistic psychopath.
Marcus is shown to deeply love his twin brother, William. He is very loyal to him and goes to great lengths to keep him safe. William seems to be the person Marcus is closest to and one of the few people Marcus still cares for unconditionally. He continues to love and protect William, even after he becomes a Werewolf and is notably one of the only people who seems to be able to control William. As his twin brother, Marcus and William have been together since the day they were born and always shared a close and unique bond.
Unfortunately, Marcus’s devotion to William blinds him to the fact that William is incredibly aggressive and bloodthirsty, with even Marcus struggling to maintain control over him. Marcus refuses to accept that his brother cannot be controlled, apparently placing a higher value on William’s well-being. He is furious and upset when William is injured and locked away, and upon learning that Viktor and Amelia are dead, he immediately becomes hell-bent on finding and freeing William, wanting to create a new species and rule over them together, being more than willing to kill anyone who gets in his way. When William is killed in the battle against Michael and Selene, Marcus is temporarily distracted, calling out his brother’s name in obvious distress, thus allowing Selene the opening she needs to kill him as well.
It is unclear if Marcus once had an amicable relationship with his father, but by the 21st century, Marcus appears to have no love for Alexander. He detests him for his compassion for humans and also resents him for failing to prevent William’s imprisonment, blaming him for much of his misfortune. Marcus seems utterly cold to Alexander’s continued affection for him and quite happily fatally wounds him and slaughters his men, purely from spite and hatred for his father.
Marcus originally had some kind of respect and trust in Viktor, offering him immortality in exchange for his help in locating William. However, any friendship between them dissolved after Viktor broke his promise to Marcus not to harm his brother, ordering that he be imprisoned and deriding his love for him. Marcus grew to despise Viktor for this and also resented him undermining his power over the course of centuries, even rewriting Vampire history to make it seem as though he was the oldest and most powerful of the Vampires.
Despite his intense hatred of Viktor, Marcus had neither the power or the opportunity to move against him and tolerated Viktor for several centuries. Upon learning of Viktor’s demise, Marcus was ecstatic, and quickly set about reclaiming his power. In addition to trying to free William from his prison, Marcus also went out of his way to slaughter almost all of Viktor’s coven and burnt the mansion to the ground – it appears he did this solely as a final insult to his hated progeny, even though Viktor was already dead.
Not much is known of Marcus’s relationship with Amelia. She was his second-known progeny, so it can be assumed he held in her some kind of esteem initially, trusting her to help him find William. When Amelia sided with Viktor in regards to William, Marcus appeared outraged by her perceived betrayal of him, while Amelia did not seem especially moved. It is likely that Marcus felt some animosity towards Amelia for allying with Viktor, and he showed no apparent grief when he learnt of her death; however, it was never mentioned or shown that he despised her on the same level as he did Viktor, implying he placed more blame upon Viktor and may have had a slightly more positive attitude towards Amelia.
It is mentioned that Marcus favored Tanis and enjoyed his company, possibly due to the fact Tanis was one of the few Vampires who knew that he was truly the first of their species. In their interactions together, Marcus appeared to be quite amicable with Tanis; however, he had no qualms whatsoever about killing him once he had gotten what he wanted and learnt of his betrayal, despite their earlier friendship.
Powers & Abilities
Vampire Dominant Hybrid Physiology: Because Marcus was the first Vampire, his powers were superior to those of the rest of his kind, including those of even Viktor and Amelia. His transformation into a Hybrid greatly enhanced his already-formidable powers and granted him the ability to transform into a humanoid bat-like creature at will. He had enough control over his transformation that he could turn only his hand into a claw as well as summon his wings, and could presumably change other parts of his body and was even able to talk while transformed.
Due to his age, he was also a skillful hand-to-hand combatant and likely versed in weapons use, at least those of the medieval kind, such as swords, as he is seen using one to attack his father.
- Superhuman Strength: As the first of his kind, Marcus possessed physical strength which surpasses that of any other Vampire, including Viktor and Amelia. After his transformation into a Hybrid, his formidable strength was further enhanced, as shown when he lifts a massive, solid stone door to reach William (albeit with great difficulty), pulling down a helicopter from mid air using one of its cables and overpowering other Hybrids, such as Michael, on various occasions.
- Superhuman Endurance: Marcus was able to endure multiple injuries, including being partially crushed by a small truck, sustained multiple gunshots at point-blank range, having one of his hands destroyed by a helicopter blade, having one of his wing talons broken, being stabbed through the brain by said talon (though it did stun him) and is only killed when Selene pushes him against the same helicopter blades, thus tearing apart his body.
- Superhuman senses: In addition to the powerful senses Marcus possesses as the first Vampire, he also has a strong bond with his twin brother, William, that he was able to sense his presence in proximity to the village he had single-handedly destroyed.
- Superhuman Healing: Marcus had a very potent healing factor, given his age and status, which was only further enhanced after becoming a Hybrid. He was able to recover from various severe injuries due to being partially crushed by a truck in only a few hours. Though his healing factor does not seem to allow him to survive dismemberment.
- Superhuman Speed: As a Vampire Elder and later Hybrid, Marcus could move, fight and fly at great speeds that only a few could react to.
- Flight: Due to him being a Vampire Dominant Hybrid, Marcus developed a pair of bat-like wings that can deploy and retract into his back. The tips of his wings were also extremely sharp and could be used as weapons to impale, hook onto, or slash his opponents.
- Blood Sorting: Like all Elders, Marcus could read a person's memories by drinking their blood.
- Sharp-Razor Claws: Marcus as a Hybrid also has developed retractable claws, which are used for offensive purposes, such as cutting and slashing his victims as well as his opponents.
- Immortality: Having inherited the Corvinus Strain from his father Alexander Corvinus, and being the first true Vampire and, subsequently, a Vampire-Dominant-Hybrid, Marcus was immune to aging and disease and his life had lasted for thousands of years, having had more than 1,600 years.
- In all of the official credits, all novelizations, on the official websites, and in the production notes, Marcus's name is spelt with a 'C'. However, in the opening text crawl prologue of Evolution, Marcus's name is incorrectly spelt as "Markus."
- Marcus's name is derived from "Mars", the Ancient Roman God of War, an appropriate name for the son of a warlord.
- Tony Curran states in the production notes that Marcus is younger than Viktor, hence Marcus was only a Vampire for a few years before turning Viktor. However, in the novelizations, Marcus is described to be chronologically older than Viktor.
- Marcus is the first Vampiric/Hybrid character shown to feed on animal blood, though the first mention of this is made in the Underworld novelization.
- It is possible that Marcus is loosely based on Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, a Roman general and tribune who owned vast swathes of land on the Pannonian-Dacian frontiers, the future Hungary and Romania. The Wallachian-Hungarian royal family of Corvin claim direct descent from Marcus Valerius, whose agnomen "Corvinus" (from Corvus, or raven) is thought to have derived from a legendary encounter with a barbarian warrior of exceptional size and strength, who challenged him to single combat. A raven is thought to have flown down and savagely attacked the barbarian, blinding him and enabling Marcus Valerius to defeat him easily. The event inspired the Corvin family sigil, a raven clutching a ring in its beak.
- At the flashback sequence of William's capture in Underworld: Evolution, Marcus begins the scene by saying, "My God, brother. What have you done?" This may indicate that Marcus believed in God and was possibly raised Christian.
- In Blood Wars, Selene is hunted for killing Viktor, but despite Marcus being a Vampire Elder as well, there is no mention of her being wanted for his murder. This may indicate that the other Vampires are aware of the events surrounding Marcus' death and thus deemed it a justified killing.
- In the flashback to Marcus' death at the beginning of Awakening and Blood Wars, Selene is only shown stabbing him through the head, not dismembering him with the helicopter blades as she did afterwards.
- His transformed form is heavily inspired by the Reiver Demon from the trading card game Magic: The Gathering (Art by Brom)
- "After sixteen centuries, William, the father of all werewolves, was dead." ~Underworld: Evolution novelization
- "Ivory fangs glistened in the moonlight as the beast leapt at Marcus, who was taken unawares by the wolf's savage attack. His horse reared in alarm, whinnying in terror. All but thrown from his saddle, Marcus clung frantically to the rains of his panicked mount, unable to defend himself. The wolf snarled loudly as it went in for the kill, its hot breath steaming the cold night air." ~ Rise of the Lycans novelization, Prologue
- "On that terrible night, before the shocked eyes of [Marcus], William became the first Werewolf, a soulless monster with a bottomless appetite for slaughter." ~ Rise of the Lycans novelization, Prologue
- "And yet, William could not be blamed for what he had become. Marcus stared in sorrow at his vanquished brother. If not for a capricious twist of fate, their destinies might have been reversed. [William] might have [the first] Vampire, Marcus thought, and I... an animal. He alone understood how his brother had fought against the curse." ~ Marcus, Evolution novelization, chapter 3
- "William and I can still reign over the Coven as we were always meant to." ~ Marcus, Evolution novelization, chapter 3
- "I shall not forget you, my brother, the Elder vowed. He wiped a blood red tear from the corner of his eye. I will bide my time until our moment comes round again. No matter how long we must wait, someday you shall be free once more. And the world will tremble before us." ~ Marcus, Evolution novelization, chapter 3
- "Fervor burned in [Marcus's] eyes, and Corvinus realized that his son had gone truly mad." ~Evolution novelization, chapter 19
- "It also means that Viktor, who is played by Bill Nighy in a flashback sequence that begins the new film, was merely a usurper. “I was the first,” declares Tony Curran of Marcus, “but it doesn’t mean I was the most powerful. I was an arrogant young vampire; Viktor was a powerful man and when he became a vampire, being older and more experienced, he took over the leadership." ~Underworld Evolution full production notes
|Selene - Lucian - Sonja - Viktor - Kraven - Nicolae - Soren - Leyba - Brother Ambrose - Grushenka - Ilona - Leonid Florescu - Marcus Corvinus - Yoshio - Diego|
|Vampire - Lycan - Immortal - Human|
|Silver Mine - Castle Corvinus - Crypts - Strasba - Keep - Ördögház - Budapest|
|Death Dealer - Vampire Elder - Budapest Coven - Blood Memories|