Earlier this year, news circulated that Gen X actor Vin Diesel and director David Twohy were at it again, and another Riddick film is in the works. This would be a sequel to Pitch Black (2000), The Chronicles of Riddick (2004), and Peter Chung's animated Chronicles sequel, Dark Fury. There are also a couple of video games that flesh out Riddick's lurid past in interstellar maximum-security prisons. Variety reported in February of this year that Diesel had signed up to do another sequel. Then in April, Corona Coming Attractions ran an exclusive run-down of a new script originally entitled Dead Man Stalking. For now, the title has been changed simply to Riddick.
Pitch Black. Unfortunate travellers crash land on a strange planet with murderer-convict, Riddick. Image: Universal (2000).
I don't know why Diesel's monosyllabic Riddick makes anti-heroism in this cheesey Lord-of-the-Rings-goes-to-space universe so compelling - but he really does. Pitch Black's monsters had a nice retro-Alien reference thanks to Peter Chung's designs; but PB mingled Aliens' monsters-are-out-to-get-us with a second theme of the-planet-is-out-to-get-us. The character development was also good - the cast put in solid performances and the stripped-down, low-budget feel of the first movie gave the film an authenticity that made it a sleeper hit.
Claudia Lee Black playing Sharon in Pitch Black. The planet has three suns. Image: Universal (2000).
A total eclipse begins on an alien planet. Pitch Black. Image: Universal (2000).
The second movie had a much bigger budget, and may have cleared a profit only after DVD sales were included. Because of its slow financial return, the third sequel will likely have a pared-down budget, and will return to Pitch Black's slim feel. The second film mish-mashed a Holocaust-styled background for the main character with a bunch of 9/11, Gulf War, and invasion of Iraq themes. The third film will see Riddick relinquish his leadership of the Necromongers in order to travel to his devastated homeworld of Furya. He will also return to his violent and murderous anti-hero persona. More reports here and here.