The possibility of a sequel following up 2004’s The Chronicles of Riddick arose very soon after the film’s release, and now it looks like it is potentially very close to finally getting underway.
Whilst there are many who won’t have seen either, being two of Diesel’s lesser known films, the franchise has developed a significant cult following, and in my opinion, a very much well deserved one at that.
Diesel followed Pitch Black up with The Fast and the Furious a year later, xXx a year after that, A Man Apart a year after that, and the rest, as they say, is history. He has of course most recently been seen in this year’s Fast Five (released here as Fast & Furious 5), and being a really big fan of that franchise, Fast Five ranks high up in my favourite films of the year so far. Diesel clearly hasn’t missed a beat in the past decade and is still working at an incredibly high level, firing on all cylinders.
So I think the news that a sequel, aptly titled Riddick, is finally close to filming is absolutely brilliant, and couldn’t come at a better time. Quoted from his own Facebook page, Diesel said,
[David Twohy] the writer/director just landed in New York with the good news. We can start filming this summer. However, there is a catch… in order for us to make a true R rated film, I must work for scale upfront. Not unlike the “Find me Guilty” experience (which I wouldn’t have changed for the world)…
Money is always second to art,… integrity and spirit… but the real issue is deeper. Can I suspend my life, to momentarily venture to that dark place… called Riddick.
Now, I need to hear from Our collective… you.
Wisdom and clarity appreciated.”
After hearing from his fans, of which a naturally vast majority are fully supportive of the proposal, Diesel followed it up with this:
“I have read so many interesting and intelligent responses to today’s post.
You all have such great insight… I truly love Our page.
Thank you again for taking the time to weigh in.
P.s. I am off to another meeting with David, the director of Riddick… to see concept art and discuss the potential schedule.
Rex Cowan: – wrote – “We all have the dark Riddick inside us. You have a penchant for showing us our true selves. I for one support your dive into Riddick and will standby to help pull you out.””
‘Find Me Guilty’ in the first post refers to the 2006 film that Diesel starred in, directed by the brilliant Sidney Lumet (Dog Day Afternoon, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) who sadly died last month, that had a $13m. budget, which naturally would have made his wages a lot less than some of the roles he could have chosen at the time. To the best of my knowledge, the film is also the only ever role which has seen Diesel with hair on his head.
Pitch Black was made on a $22m. budget and made more than half of that in its opening weekend, totalling more than $50m. by the end of its run in theatres. The Chronicles of Riddick, however, was given a budget of $120m., but made just over $107m. in theatres. Thankfully, it has since turned a much healthier profit after its release on DVD and now Blu-Ray, which meant that the possibility of a sequel has been on the table for as long as it has.
Twohy himself said back in 2007 that any sequel that would be made would be much more likely to have a similar budget to Pitch Black:
“if another movie surfaces, it probably won’t be a Universal movie and probably will be an independent movie. Which means we’ll have to make it for substantially less than the last installment. But that’s okay. PITCH BLACK was $22 million all in. Maybe it’s time to go back to our roots – as we go on to The UnderVerse.”
And I think that’s definitely nothing that will hinder the project, if it is to go ahead. Twohy made a remarkable film without the need for the extra $100m. that its sequel saw, so I don’t think there’s a substantial need to have a massive blockbuster budget when he is clearly capable of producing something of the same calibre without the added stress of the increased budget, and the expectations that come with it.
As of a year ago, Collider quote the following as the film’s proposed plot:
“Betrayed by his own kind and left for dead on a desolate planet, Riddick (Diesel) fights for survival against alien predators and becomes more powerful and dangerous than ever before. Soon bounty hunters from throughout the galaxy descend on Riddick only to find themselves pawns in his greater scheme for revenge. With his enemies right where he wants them, Riddick unleashes a vicious attack of vengeance before returning to his home planet of Furya to save it from destruction.”
Naturally, the script and plot could have developed over the past year, but I think any Riddick film Twohy has written will be immense. Fans of the first two films (myself included) will be waiting with bated breath to see if this project will now see the light of day. Essentially, I think the ball is now pretty much entirely in Diesel’s court, and he’ll have to decide whether he’s willing to work for a fraction of what he could command to bring Riddick back to life. I am truly hoping that he’ll agree to do the project, because I love the Riddick character, and I know that any film Diesel and Twohy make together will be nothing short of incredible.