The road to making the third film in the Riddick franchise has been a long one, and I couldn’t be happier that Riddick is currently in the middle of production. Vin Diesel, who will of course be reprising his role as the eponymous Riddick, has been treating us to the first images from the set already, as well as plenty of awesome concept art over the past few months.

Continuing the trend once more by taking to his Facebook, Diesel’s given us another new photo from the set, taken in between setting up the lighting, and he’s got a sombre but optimistic description to explain why he’s in contemplation:

“Despite the fact, that this by far is the most physical of roles that I have played… I decided to show a picture you might never see… a candid, of me in between a lighting set up, just reflecting…

It has been sometime now since I have ventured to that place, where the Furyan dwells… It is strange how learning about myself always coincides with playing the character, which has never been more true than in this experience… but, I will explain that some other day when I am beyond this journey.

It was early yesterday morning when our production week ended, the Director and handful from the crew were recapping/celebrating the weeks accomplishments, when someone asked why I had to make this film. The Director who has known me for almost 15 years said quickly… “with Vin, it is all about the promise, if he says he will make it, it doesn’t matter how long it takes, he will.”

While I was shooting “Find me Guilty”, in 2004, we often had visitors who viewed the process like it was a stage performance, haha… it very much reminded me of the off broadway theatre days of my youth. One regular, was an elderly fella named Charlie, he was my favorite of guests, he actually grew up near the set which happened to be the same place that Marlon Brando filmed “On the Waterfront” half a century ago. I appreciated his visits in particular, he had a positive, encouraging energy and he always left with the same words… “No one will bring the truth and spirit of the character like you… you must do it!” He was referring to Hannibal the Conqueror… he actually bought a ticket to the Warner Bros’ version starring Victor Mature in the 1950’s.

My friend Charlie passed away this morning, peacefully in his sleep… a prayer and a farewell… and yes my old friend Charlie…

We will find a way, or We will make one!”

The last photo we got from the set showed Riddick left for dead and also came with the third film in the franchise’s official synopsis:

“The latest chapter of the groundbreaking saga that began with 2000?s hit sci-fi film Pitch Black and 2004?s The Chronicles of Riddick reunites writer/director David Twohy (A Perfect Getaway, The Fugitive) and star Vin Diesel (the Fast and Furious franchise, xXx). Diesel reprises his role as the antihero Riddick, a dangerous, escaped convict wanted by every bounty hunter in the known galaxy.

The infamous Riddick has been left for dead on a sun-scorched planet that appears to be lifeless. Soon, however, he finds himself fighting for survival against alien predators more lethal than any human he’s encountered. The only way off is for Riddick to activate an emergency beacon and alert mercenaries who rapidly descend to the planet in search of their bounty.

The first ship to arrive carries a new breed of merc, more lethal and violent, while the second is captained by a man whose pursuit of Riddick is more personal. With time running out and a storm on the horizon that no one could survive, his hunters won’t leave the planet without Riddick’s head as their trophy.”

Diesel is reuniting with writer-director David Twohy once more for what should be an epic film, and joining them will be Karl Urban (reprising his role as Vaako from The Chronicles of Riddick), Katee Sackhoff, Jordi Mollà, Matt Nable, Bokeem Woodbine, Nolan Gerard Funk, singer-turning-actress Keri Hilson, and WWE’s Dave Bautista.

Diesel also put out a photo this week of himself taking a break and enjoying the rest of the filming, and added this as a description:

“You know the Director, the crew and the cast are making something special, when you find yourself drawn to the set… even when you aren’t in the particular scene they are shooting.

It has been a long and arduous road, to launch this Rated “R” Riddick, and everyday of magic only proves, how worth it the journey has been.

Happy Birthday Sgt.

P.s. In the zone… I’ll return to the planet in April.”

With at least another month to go until the end of production, we should be in for more from the set in the coming weeks, which is absolutely fine by me. As usual with these two images, you can click to enlarge.

(Side-note: I am of course aware that the 84th Academy Awards are about to begin! If you’re reading this in the very early hours of the morning (as I’m writing it), then you can catch the whole thing as we live-blog it right here!)

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Since graduating, I spend as much time as possible watching films/TV shows, reading books, and listening to music. So getting to write about what I love is nothing short of awesome. Biggest film-related hope for 2014/ever: Guy Ritchie announcing the RocknRolla sequel is finally moving forward.