All 6 ‘Universal Soldier’ Movies in Order

universal soldier movies in order

Jean-Claude Van Damme is one of the most famous, prolific action movie stars from the 1990s and 2000s, along with guys like Dolph Lundgren. Well, they teamed up to create the Universal Soldier franchise, spanning over two decades worth of movies. That being said, the movie’s order might be slightly confusing.

You see, the production company behind the first film went bankrupt, and the rights were sold to another company, which made two sequels with a new cast. Then those two sequels were disregarded with another film starring the original cast, but then that movie was disregarded with new sequels, forming a new timeline and storyline. Phew, that was a mouthful.

You’re in the right place if you want to know how to watch the Universal Soldier franchise properly. Here’s a list of all six Universal Soldier movies in order.

How many ‘Universal Soldier’ movies are there?

There are six Universal Soldier movies in total. The production team changed after the first movie and the cast for the second and third films, but then the old cast returned for the fourth, gift, and sixth films.

‘Universal Soldier’ movies in order (at a glance)

As I’ve mentioned, there are six Universal Soldier movies in total – three are considered canon, two non-canon, and one retconned. They are as follows:

  1. Universal Soldier (1992) (Canon)
  2. Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms (1998) (Non-Canon)
  3. Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business (1998) (Non-Canon)
  4. Universal Soldier: The Return (1999) (Retconned)
  5. Universal Soldier: Regeneration (2009) (Canon)
  6. Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012) (Canon)

Still, I believe the best way to watch the movies is in their release order because you’ll still get all three separate ‘timelines’ without too much confusion – that is, if you know the facts about the franchise.


60 Best Action Comedy Movies of All Time

Are ‘Universal Soldier’ movies connected? Do you need to watch them in a specific order?

universal soldier jean claude van damme

Universal Soldier movies are connected, but things are a bit complicated. The two TV movies – which would be the second and third movie in the franchise – are considered non-canon sequels to the first movie, starring a completely new cast.

Those two movies and their plots were completely disregarded for the fourth movie, which served as a new sequel for the first film, starring the original cast once again. However, that movie was retconned, and finally, the fifth and sixth movies now serve as official canon sequels to the first film – they completely disregard both the TV movies and the fourth film.

So, all of the movies are connected, but you can view them as three different variants of what could’ve happened after the first film. You should watch them in the order of their release, but just keep in mind the info I’ve shared here so that you don’t get confused about contradicting things that don’t add up between separate ‘variants’ of the sequels.

What is the best way to watch ‘Universal Soldier’ movies?

The best way to watch Universal Soldier movies is by watching them in their release order. However, you should mentally divide the franchise into three timelines or three story versions. 

The first timeline would be the first three movies as one timeline. The second timeline is the first and fourth movies, and the third is the first, fifth, and sixth.

‘Universal Soldier’ movies in order (by release date)

1. Universal Soldier (1992)

universal soldier 1

Luc Deveraux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is an American soldier fighting in the Vietnam War. He realizes that his superior, Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren), went rogue and completely deranged, so the two fight to the death, and both die.

However, they are brought back to life in a secret military experiment, making them supersoldiers – more machines than men. At first, they remember nothing, but as Luc starts having flashbacks of what had happened, he switches sides and rekindles the conflict with his old nemesis – Andrew Scott.

2. Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms (1998)

universal soldier 2

The second movie saw a complete change of cast and crew. Luc Deveraux, now portrayed by Matt Battaglia, sees the funds for supersoldier testing, aka the UniSol project, slashed. However, a CIA director takes control of the last line of Universal soldiers and wants to use them for nefarious purposes, including diamond smuggling.

Luc Deveraux, who was in hiding, feels the urge to return to the UniSol base as a homing beacon embedded within him gets activated. His memories are reprogrammed, but Veronica follows him to the UniSol base, only to discover that Luc’s brother was also resurrected as a super soldier.

3. Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business (1998)

universal soldier 3

After Luc was saved, he and Veronica put their efforts together once again to expose the UniSol program. However, they are soon forced into hiding while the CIA director and a scientist work on creating a clone of Luc’s brother to send him after Veronica and Luc.


All 4 ‘The Expendables’ Movies in Order: Not So Expendable Watch Order

4. Universal Soldier: The Return (1999)

universal soldier 4

The fourth film in the franchise saw the return of Jean-Claude Van Damme as Luc Deveraux and completely disregarded sequels two and three. Instead, the story yet again picks up after the ending of the first Universal Soldier movie. In this one, Luc was experimentally returned to his human state and already had a 13-year-old daughter, Hillary.

He tries helping a scientist to develop a new, safer, more advanced breed of supersoldiers connected to a ‘hive mind’ Artificial Intelligence computer known as S.E.T.H., aka Self-Evolving Thought Helix. Of course, when the project is shut down, the AI rebels, stealing the body of one of the new supersoldiers, who kidnaps Hillary. Will Luc save his daughter and the world?

5. Universal Soldier: Regeneration (2009)

universal soldier 5

Universal Soldier: The Return didn’t garner such great reviews, so it never got a sequel. Instead, ten years later, it was retconned once again, and Universal Soldier: Regeneration, for the third time, started off as a sequel to the first movie.

In this one, we saw the return of Dolph Lundgren as Andrew, only this time, it’s a clone of the original Andrew, who terrorists have hired to help seize control over the atomic nuclear reactor in Chornobyl. When the nuclear threat hits, Deveraux is reactivated to help fight the Next Generation UniSol after undergoing rehabilitation therapy with Dr. Sandra Fleming.

6. Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012)

universal soldier 6

Finally, the last movie of the franchise saw a different protagonist emerge, whereas our main protagonist so far – Luc Deveraux – goes insane and rogue and joins Andrew in creating an army of Universal Soldier clones. Their goal is to infiltrate the government to torment those who created them and make them feel the same pain.

John (Scott Adkins), a special agent and our new protagonist, had his entire family killed by Luc and his clones. He is ready to exact revenge and end both Deveraux and Andrew Scott once and for all.


Rocky and Creed Movies in Order (Chronological & Release Date)

Where to watch ‘Universal Soldier’ movies?

The first Universal Soldier movie can be found streaming on Fubo TV, Paramount+, AppleTV, Showtime, Roku, and DIRECTV. You can also rent or buy it on Google Play, YouTube Premium, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, and AppleTV.

As for the franchise’s sequels, most of them can also be found to buy or rent on the usual channels like Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV, Google Play, or YouTube Premium, but finding all of them for streaming in one place could prove impossible.

Will there be more ‘Universal Soldier’ movies?

Seeing that the last Universal Soldier movie came out in 2012, and no rumors about new movies have come out since it’s highly unlikely that there will be more Universal Soldier movies. That being said, there was a ten-year gap between the fourth and fifth movies in the franchise, so who knows? Maybe, somewhere in the future, they pick it up once again.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments