Nightfall was the working title of Pitch Black, written by Jim Wheat and Ken Wheat. It was about a female outlaw named Tara Krieg (replaced with Riddick) with tribal tattoos and enhancements from her interstellar tribe of barbarians. Noah Toth (replaced with Abu al-Walid) was a scummy and two-faced member of a technology-based version of Christianity, and he was on a trip to a moon networked with mines where he could advise discontented workers and keep them working.
They traveled in a ship called Beamrider (replaced with Hunter Gratzner), which rode a light beam across the galaxy. It's wings were able to interlock after the hull of the ship rotated them in place, then detach and function as an escape craft. After something happened to the ship, the wing-section crash-landed on "Hades" (replaced with M6-117).
On the planet there are two-month day and two-month night. The planet had ancient ruins and temples, the villains were the ghosts of the creatures who built the ruins trying to defend their homeworld.
At first there was no escape ship, but a distress beacon, and Tara, Carolyn Fry, Jack, Noah Toth and Paris were all supposed to make it off the alien world. Later in development, a skiff called "Arrow" was added in which they escape the planet.
Concept art created by Fireball Tim Lawrence.