Vin Diesel delivers a passion project for the fans.
‘Fast and the Furious’ powerhouse Vin Diesel reprises his starring role in a cult franchise that began with 2000’s ‘Pitch Black’ and returns again in the aptly named ‘Riddick.’
Fandom for this franchise is strong thanks to three prior films and their subsequent video games. Not to mention the millions of Diesel fans who have kept him at the top of the box office this summer.
Critical reviews for the films, which also include 2004’s ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’ and the animated movie ‘The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury’ have not always been particularly favorable, nor has the box office. But as the series jumps up to an R-rating coupled with Vin Diesel’s soaring popularity, chances are this latest chapter will surpass its predecessors.
It’s been a while since we saw Richard Riddick on-screen. In fact, it’s been almost a decade. Thanks to the poor returns for ‘Chronicles’ – about $58 million – Universal rejected the idea of another film so Diesel himself, along with with series writer-director David Twohy, worked to raise the estimated $40 million dollars needed to make ‘Riddick.’ The efforts epitomize a passion project, especially given Diesel’s many lucrative distractions, not the least of which is the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise.
As with the other Riddick films, the main question remains, “Are you afraid of the dark?” And certainly the fans are, given the alien monsters faced by Riddick. This time around, Riddick will again show that it’s the light that scares him, not the dark, given that his alien species are cursed (or blessed, depending on your point of view) with reflective eyes that see perfectly in the dark but painfully struggle with bright light.
In ‘Riddick,’ the titular antihero has been left for dead on a desolate sun-scorched planet where he must battle the native predators and inbound bounty-hunting mercenaries chasing after the escaped prisoner. Does it sound like a rehash of ‘Pitch Black’? Maybe, but this time we will not only see Karl Urban returning as Vaako, but ‘Battlestar Galactica’s’ Katee Sackhoff will be playing a key role. Their appearances, among other sci-fi favorites like Bokeem Woodbine, should raise the bar nicely for true science fiction fans.
The world premiere of ‘Riddick’ will be held on August 28 in Los Angeles, with the full theatrical release on September 6, 2013.
Getting ‘Riddick’ onto the screen isn’t the only big news in Vin Diesel’s professional life this week; On Monday, August 26, the 46-year-old actor was presented with the 2,504th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The actor/producer also has at least 10 projects in the pipeline, including the next chapters of ‘XXX’ and ‘Fast and the Furious,’ and voicing the character of Groot in Marvel’s highly-anticipated ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’