Those who have seen the trailers for David Twohy’s upcoming “Riddick” may have noticed a much more “Pitch Black” vibe, rather than something closer to “Chronicles of Riddick”, the first sequel in the franchise. The reason is pretty simple — “Chronicles” cost way too much and was a flop, but given Diesel’s current popularity, the star and writer/director David Twohy have gone back to what worked — the first “Pitch Black” movie, in an attempt to jump-start the franchise.
If all goes well, Twohy and Diesel say you can expect to see two more “Riddick” movies, this time picking up where “Chronicles of Riddick” left off — with a trip to the famed Underverse and an exploration of Riddick’s home planet of Furya.
Speaking to SFX, Twohy explains this detour for Riddick after the epic finale of “Chronicles”:
At its core [Riddick] is a survival story about one man, and his only way to get off this planet is to call in the mercenaries for a ride. That said, we don’t turn our backs on the mythology that we planted in the last movie, and we are actually bringing Karl [Urban] back for a few days of filming to advance it and lay the groundwork for movie four. We’re concerned with paying off the loyal fans and think that if somebody doesn’t understand something the solution is to look at the other two movies and get up to speed. It does play in a gratifying way as a standalone movie, but there are threads that we continue to sew that we started in previous movies and will continue in future movies
So if all goes well, where can we expect Riddick headed to next? Diesel has answers:
You’ve got to go to the Underverse. It’s expected, it’s something I firmly believe. You’ll have to go through the Underverse to get to Furya. So, those are the two further stories that are mapped out. The Underverse is a much more costly venture. We went this direction, trying to do an R-rated movie, which is cool and even more interesting because it’s so unexpected. But yes, you will be at the Underverse and you will be at Furya sooner or later.
It goes without saying that everything hinges on “Riddick” performing well at the box office. If it falls flat like “Chronicles of Riddick” did almost 10 years ago, then I doubt if any studio will give the duo the money they need to make what are surely very expensive, space-bound sequels.
The good news for all the Riddick fans out there is that “Riddick” probably cost only a fraction of what it took to put “Chronicles” together. That movie cost the studio a whopping $105 million back in 2004, and barely made its production budget back, nevermind actually turning a profit. “Riddick”, with its heavy green screen-inside-a-warehouse production , probably cost much, much less, though the exact budget isn’t known. I wouldn’t be surprised if Diesel also lowered his payday for the film, since he has an obvious affinity for the character. I could be wrong about that last pat, of course.
So, wanna see more of Riddick? Then go see “Riddick” when it opens this September 6th.