I don’t care if you judge me for it or not: I am dying to see another Riddick movie.
The original “Pitch Black” was one of those great little B-movie genre surprises, and when Harry and I first saw it, there was still some uncertainty on the part of USA Films about what to do with it. We programmed the film at the very first Butt-Numb-A-Thon as our “middle of the night wake everyone up” movie, and it was a great screening. Vin Diesel even ended up flying to Texas just to do a meet-and-greet at 3:30 in the morning.
When Universal made the much-bigger-budget sequel, it seemed to be the kickoff to a larger franchise, building out a SF world in which Riddick was more than just a scary dude, but a lynchpin for an epic adventure. I have a huge affection for the work of writer/director David Twohy anyway. I think he’s a guy who speaks B-movie fluently, and while some might see that as an insult, I don’t. I think there’s something about the high-concept genre movie that can be especially exciting when done right, and Twohy strikes me as a guy who genuinely wants to entertain, and who doesn’t have a single film snob bone in his body. While “The Chronicles Of Riddick” did not succeed wildly at the box-office, I thought it was wild, wicked fun, and had a great “what’s next?” ending.
Unfortunately, vaguely successful films don’t really get Hollywood hot and bothered about the idea of doing a sequel, and so it’s been several years now of occasional updates from either Twohy or Diesel mentioning that they want to do another Riddick movie, with little visible progress towards making that happen.
Today, they took a very big step forward. After all, if they’re hiring people, chances are they’re going to actually make the film, right?
And if they’re hiring Katee Sackhoff to play “a Nordic Mercenary” named Dahl who is trying to find Riddick, then my guess is that they’re getting very close.
According to Variety, they are also talking to Jordi Molla to play a major bad guy role in the film, which is interesting since he was one of the people on the short list to replace Benecio Del Toro when he left the upcoming JJ Abrams sequel to “Star Trek.” So it sounds like they’re moving quickly to pin down the rest of the participants in “Riddick.” I’m not sure how closely it follows the path that was laid out at the end of “The Chronicles Of Riddick,” but I hope this is a real sequel and not something that just ignores some of the big crazy ideas in that second movie.
Now it’s all of matter of Universal finally making the film, and I am rooting for all involved. We don’t get nearly enough big pulpy science-fiction in our diet anyway, and certainly not served up with the passion that Twohy brings to everything. We’ll talk about this more as the film gets closer to release, and as more cast is added, bringing into focus more of what Twohy has planned for this one.