That’s not the most spoiler-oriented photo of all time, but just seeing Vin Diesel looking like he’s back in full Riddick mode makes me happy.
When I saw “Pitch Black” for the first time, USA Films wasn’t sure what to do with it. They were trying to position themselves as a serious studio, making Oscar-worthy films, big and important, and a movie like “Pitch Black” seemed to confuse them a bit in terms of marketing and positioning. Harry Knowles and I were shown the film in the company’s Beverly Hills screening room, with no one else in the theater, and by the end of it, we were both ecstatic. That first movie is just good old fashioned pulp science fiction without a pretentious bone in its body, a modestly-scaled monster movie that set up a really interesting anti-hero in the form of the big broody Vin Diesel, who was really only known to us at that point as the dude Spielberg ordered written into “Saving Private Ryan” and the voice of “The Iron Giant.”
The first film was written by Ken & Jim Wheat and then rewritten by director David Twohy. On the second film, Twohy took over all the creative duties, and he pushed Riddick into a more epic realm, while still playing by the rules of pulp. That’s what I love about Twohy as a genre filmmaker… he’s very canny about genre and the conventions that we expect, and he tweaks those things in very sharp ways. The ending of “The Chronicles Of Riddick” was a bold move and an audacious wink to those of us who still mourn the broken promise of another great pulp movie, the John Milius “Conan.”
It’s been a hard road for Twohy and Diesel in trying to get their new Riddick movie made, but they’re finally shooting now, and so when Diesel takes to his Facebook page to share a new image, it makes me happy in a very simple and direct way. I haven’t read the new script, and I don’t want to. I’m willing to wait to see the finished film, and I have faith that they’ll do something fun with it. With new cast members like Katee Sackhoff and Jordi Molla, and with a rumored return by Karl Urban (who is busy shooting the “Star Trek” sequel right now), the stage has been set for our favorite Furyan to once more do very bad things in space sometime next year.
And I can’t wait.