"Don't know how many times I've been crossed off the list and left for dead...so this, this aint nothing new"
Riddick is the third live-action film in the Chronicles of Riddick franchise which brought the titular character Riddick back to the silver screen after nine years. Riddick was released September 6, 2013 and was successful bringing in $93 million on a $40 million budget. It was released on Bluray and DVD January 14, 2014 topping the home media sales of it's release week. As of January 26, 2014 Universal Pictures and One Race Films are pursuing to make the fourth Riddick movie.
Vin Diesel original vision was to have the Chronicles of Riddick become like J.R.R. Toklien's Middle-Earth. Pitch Black was to serve like the Hobbit, to be a standalone film to establish the universe, and to have a trilogy of the Chronicles of Riddick serving like the Lord of the Rings.
After the Chronicles of Riddick performed poorly at the box office, Universal Pictures shelved the Riddick franchise for good, and would not allow another film to be made. Over the years Vin and David managed to secure the rights of the film from Universal, and shopped it around in foreign markets. This got the attention of Universal who then secured the rights to distribute the film.
“Had Universal said to us, ‘Let's roll over, let's pick it up right at the end of the last movie’ and funded it, we would have ventured into the Necromonger underverse and we would have had a big The Lord of the Rings-style movie on our hands. But That didn't happen, so cleverly Vin and I got the rights back and produced it ourselves on a smaller scale. That said, it still looks like a big movie. I think the audience will see the tip of the hat to Pitch Black, but they won't feel claustrophobic.” - David Twohy
You have to understand, when we made Chronicles of Riddick, this is how confident we were […] when David and I delivered the script to the studio, we delivered three leather binders. One said "Core One," the second said "Core Two," and the third said "Core Three." Now, all but the first one basically had Xerox paper stuffed in it, right? With like a little treatment on each one. It was a locked leather binder and we only gave the studio keys to the first binder. [laughs] It was a statement saying, "This is a trilogy. Think of Pitch Black as The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings" - Vin Diesel
Much of the story for Riddick and the next two films were planned out in Vin's kitchen in 2009, where David and Vin would talk for lengths of time throwing out ideas. After finally nailing a solid story, David wrote a screenplay for the film, which returned Riddick to his animal side. The story would draw the themes of Pitch Black and the Chronicles while maintaining story continuity. The decision was made to return the series its roots, and so they aimed for a R-rating for the film release. Producer Ted Field along with Vin shopped the film around in international markets and it was the hottest title in presales at the Berlin European Film Market. Universal then caught note of this and came in to distribute the film leveraging equity.
"The fun part of this film is the freedom that we maintained to dance between Chronicles and Pitch Black, high tech and low tech, sci-fi and fantasy. If you follow the mythology, you would assume you would have to be in the Underverse in this movie. What's fun about the design of this film is that the Underverse plot is kind of thrown out the window after a series of events. You're thinking Riddick's going to be in the Underverse leading a huge army and very quickly a couple minutes into the picture you realize he's fighting for his life, he's left for dead on a planet again. It's a very creative construct that Riddick director David Twohy and I worked on, which is playing on the idea of having so much power, that fat feeling you get from having too much power and the need to return to the animal side." - Vin Diesel
Riddick was financed independently on a reported budget of $40 million in which Vin Diesel had to leverage his own house to help finance the film. Production began in Vancouver in the fall where all the principal photography was shot on sound stages using the digital backlot technique. On October 29, 2011, production on the film was shut down due to a completion bond running out of money. The crew was kicked out of the facilities and Vin had to advance funds for the crew until the back loans were secured. However, on November 27, 2011, it was reported that the issues with the funding were resolved, and that production on the film was scheduled to continue December 28, 2011 in Montreal.
David Twohy shot the film on Arri Alexa's digital cameras because of the post production pipeline over the course of 47 days. In 2012 Riddick entered post-production, using small visual effect houses Riddick was able to manage on it's relative small budget and still have 900 vfx shots. David pulled 14 hour days in post trying to complete the film, and picture locked it the spring.
According to Katee Sackhoff who plays the merc Dahl in the upcoming movie, the reasons for Riddick's R-raiting came from a scene where you can see a side of her breast, and the heavy f-bombs they use repeatedly in the movie.
There’s a shitload of blood and there’s little pieces of nudity, here and there. There’s my nudity too, but it’s side boob, for three to five seconds. It’s not that big of a deal. It’s mostly for the language. My character and Matt Nable’s character say fuck, like every other word. It’s kind of fantastic, actually. He must have said fuck 15 times, in every single scene. It’s pretty awesome. So, it’s mostly for language. - Katee Sackhoff
Following the teaser that released March 23, 2013 the full trailer for Riddick came out May, 15 2013 that has received millions of views on youtube.
After being betrayed by the Necros, Riddick ends up abandoned on a sun-scorched planet, where he activates an emergency beacon. Instead of regular rescue, the beacon brings two groups of the deadliest mercs, led by Captain Santana and Boss Johns. The bounty on Riddick's head has been doubled $1.5 million to $3 million, and Boss Johns has been hunting Riddick for the past 10 years, eager to find out what happened to his son William Johns. In a game of who's the better killer, Riddick proves to be superior, but all things turn for the worst when a bad storm blows in, unveiling monsters of the night that are more vicious than the Bioraptors. Riddick and the mercs are now stuck in a fight with the creatures of the dark and among themselves to get off the planet alive.
Full Story (spoilers)
Following the events of The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick is the new Lord Marshal of the Necromonger Empire, but he has yet to uptake the scared oath and lead them to the Underverse. Several times, commanders have tried to kill him, but each time they have failed and Riddick feels that he has been losing his edge and desires to get back to his homeworld of Furya. Riddick demands that Commander Vaako give him the charts that lead to Furya, but Vaako informs him that all those charts has been destroyed. Riddick places a blade to Vaako's neck and it is then that Vaako reveals that only he knows the way back to Furya, and orders Captain Krone to get a ship ready.
Captain Krone takes Riddick down to a desolate planet in which Riddick finds out that it is Not-Furya. Necromonger soldiers then try to kill Riddick, but he kills them first, as Captain Krone shoots out the plateau from underneath Riddick, sending him falling down as he yells "You keep what you kill Riddick!"
Riddick awakens on the desolate sun scorched planet being pecked by an alien vulture. His leg is injured, as he tries to repair it he spots a pack of wild jackals. The jackals come to kill him but he dives into a pond to avoid them, as he is holding his breath, eels try to bite at him but he stays there until the jackals go away. Emerging from the pond, Riddick fixes his leg but a single jackal attacks him, he throws a piece of his suit far away, sending the jackal chasing after it, leaving him alone. Another jackal that tries to kill Riddick is killed by a Mud Demon and Riddick watches it as it is killed, evading and eventually finding a cave. He then seals himself under two stones to rest from the dangers of the planet.
Emerging from the cave, Riddick leg is healed and he finds an abandoned pup which he takes to raise on his own. He manages to take a small mud demon and inject it's venom into himself and his pup over a period of days, so they can become immune to the venom. From his cave, Riddick is able to see the other side of his location which is filled with grass and water, but to get there he must first make it past the pond that houses the mud demons. Riddick battles a mud demon and kills it, a mud demon arises and knocks Riddick aside. Riddick's jackal pup gets loose and follows Riddick, but before the pup is killed, Riddick rescues it and slides underneath the mud demon slicing it's belly open and escapes to the other side.
Jumping 6 months, Riddick has been traveling the plains and the pup is now fully grown, at night the jackal notices rain clouds and with Riddick's eyeshine he sees a plethora of mud demons. Riddick and his pet venture on and the jackal spits out a golf ball which indicates human life was on the planet. The two come across the merc co-op station P7. Inside Riddick activates the beacon that scans him, identifying him and sending out the signal to the mercs ships nearby.
Santana's crew is the first to arrive, and they come in the depot looking for Riddick but do not find him, they only see a message written in blood telling them to leave one ship for Riddick and leave. Santana lets Riddick
know he's here for his head by yelling out into the open, and Riddick who is nearby hears him. Santana's prisoner is freed, but Santana later kills her, and she dies before Riddick, who is hiding behind a rock. Boss Johns' crew is the second to arrive, Santana tries to call them off but they land anyway. The two groups are at a disagreement and Boss John agrees to let Santana handle Riddick until he needs his help. Santana sets up a scanning machine called Cyclops to look for Riddick, while both parties agree to lock their ship nodes in a locker with a bombing mechanism to prevent Riddick from getting to them. At night Santana's crew search for Riddick, and Dahl informs Boss Johns that the traps are missing from within the base. Riddick with his jackal, confuses Cyclops which causes it to malfunction, making Santana change out the tracker. Santana's crew having forgot to sweep the area, gets one of their mercs killed by the traps Riddick has set. He then kills two more mercs, taking one of their bodies with him.
Santana is forced to combines arms with Boss Johns', but Boss Johns then take controls of the entire mission. He has Dahl to shoot a tracker onto Riddick's jackal and then sets out with a crew on the Jet Hogs to track it back to Riddick. Riddick however is at the base, and he steals Dahl's mirror while she bathes, but she believes Santana to have taken it. Boss Johns and his crew finds out Riddick is not at his cave and tries to inform the base that Riddick may be there. Riddick realizes the nodes are missing from the ship. Inside merc station, Dahl confronts Santana, who punches her down to the floor and get into a brief fight, while Riddick watch from the ceiling. Boss Johns arrives back and orders Santana to open the cabinet where the nodes are, frightened that the bomb will go off at first, he eventually does so to find the nodes still there.
Riddick then manages to steal both nodes and have them buried in a secure location that only he knows. The mercs try to figure out how to get off the planet, when Riddick confronts them off distance. Riddick informs Boss Johns the storm is coming and they need to get off planet, and gives him till the rain hits the base to make a decision, but Boss Johns wants answers for his son's death. As Riddick turns to leave, Santana tries to kill him but his jackal attacks Santana which prompts Riddick to attack. Dahl fires tranquilizers into Riddick weakening him as Santana kills Riddick's jackal, and tries to kill Riddick, but Boss Johns' prevents him doing so, and knocks Riddick out instead.
Riddick is chained up as Boss Johns' questions Riddick about his son's death, but Riddick does not say much about it, which frustrates Boss Johns. Santana tries to behead Riddick, when Cyclops goes off picking up the mud demons from the storm. They all see the mud demons and lock themselves inside as two of Boss Johns' mercs are killed by them, within the complex. Riddick tells them to free him and Boss Johns' tries to, but Santana stops him, Boss Johns secretly takes the pin out. Santana tries to kill Riddick, but Riddick knocks Santana back to the wall and kicks the machete through Santana's head slicing it in two, the head then falls into the box that Santana brought for Riddick's head. The mercs free Riddick and they blaze out in gun fire against the mud demons and make it to one of the ships, but another merc is killed by a small mud demon. Riddick, Diaz, and Boss Johns set out on jet hogs through the storm to where Riddick hid the nodes.
On the way there Boss Johns is side swiped by Diaz and his cycle crashes. Riddick picks him up and they ride to the destination, where Riddick begins digging for the nodes as he talks about William J. Johns. Boss Johns is informed that Riddick did not kill his son, and that Johns tried to kill Jack, which Boss Johns refuses to believe. Diaz comes from being on watch to trying to kill Boss Johns and Riddick, but he is killed by Riddick and the other cycle is destroyed by Diaz's gun fire. They realize Diaz disabled the last cycle and was preparing to take the nodes back himself with Riddick's head. Boss Johns and Riddick set out on foot back to the ship where they kill mud demons as they go. Riddick is eventually bitten by a mud demon and injured with a tooth stuck in his chest.
Boss Johns takes Riddick's node and leaves him alone with the mud demons. Riddick climbs a steep cliff fighting off mud demons alone as Boss Johns makes it back to the ship with the nodes. Riddick now out of weapons, fights the mud demons with his fists when Boss Johns' ship arrives and blasts the mud demons from above. Dahl then is sent down to wheel Riddick up to the ship to safety.
Boss Johns' and the remaining mercs leave in their ship as Riddick leaves in the other, as they both agree that at another time they will face off.
Riddick arrives back on Necropolis where he encounters Krone again and finds out it was he, not Vaako, who betrayed him. Riddick kills Krone and then asks a Necromonger servant if Vaako is alive or dead. She replies that he is "both." Riddick walks to the window seeing the threshold knowing Vaako has entered and transcended.
The reception has been mixed among critics with many praising the back to basic approach, but criticized some of the dialogue, plot, and pacing. It currently holds a 58% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 5.4/10, 6.5 out of 10 on IMDB, and a 49 on Metacritic. Amongst fans the overall current rating was a 54% being considered unfavorable.
Riddick made $900,000 on special screenings Thursday night, and on Friday it pulled in $7.3 million. For it's opening three day weekend it grossed $18,700,000 in the U.S. and $7,400,000 over seas. The current box office as of 2014 is $98,337,295.
Riddick will be released in the theatrical cut and a director's cut this year. The director's cut will feature more back story of Commander Vaako and more of the mythology from Chronicles adding an additional 10 minutes to the movie. It grossed an additional $23,026,441 in DVD and Blu-Ray sales.
"This is probably more like eight minutes of footage, something like that..."
"There’s actually more shots than I was able to use just for time reasons in this version of the movie. I’m now restoring a lot of that for the director’s cut DVD. So the director’s cut has a full scene with Karl, not the half-scene seen here. Karl describes how he as a young Necromonger boy went on this mission that turned out to be Furya because there were other people who had Riddick’s eyes just like him. So he’s the key to finding Furya. And then the epilogue of the director’s cut is Riddick returning to the Necromonger empire looking to deal with Vaako, who he thinks has double timed him, but that turns out not to be Vaako at all. Vaako has moved on and crossed over into Necromonger Heaven and Hell, and so at least in the director’s cut version, we’ve laid groundwork for Riddick possibly following him.” - David Twohy
The unrated cut was released January 14, 2014 on blu-ray with an additional 10 minutes of footage. More flashbacks with Vaako was featured on the Necromonger ships with Riddick. There's also an alternate ending where Riddick travels back to the Necromonger fleet and finds out Krone was the one who has been trying to kill him.
Riddick Red Carpet Premier
Riddick had it's world premiere August 28, 2013 at the Westwood Regence Village Theather in Los Angeles.
Comic Con 2013
Universal hosted the Riddick panel which featured Vin Diesel, David Twohy, and Kate Sackhoff where they revealed the restricted trailer for Riddick.
- For the first 30 minutes of the film there is no talking at all.
- Movie starts with Riddick on the ground of a barren planet, near death as he’s surrounded by creatures that deem him as prey.
- There are flashbacks to when Riddick took over the Necros which feature Karl Urban’s character, Vaako.
- Riddick has not fully accepted leadership and some aren't pleased. Assassins continue to come after him.
- Riddick offers to give Vaako command if he takes him to his home planet of Furya. Vaako agrees and on their trip, things go bad and he ends up where we see him at the start.
- There’s a big reveal about Riddick in the movie about a connection to a character previously seen in the franchise.
- The script certainly earns its hard R-rating – violence and language is authentic Riddick.
- Riddick is finally depicted as the hardcore human hunter he was hinted at being in Pitch Black.
- Katee Sackhoff, who is best known as Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in the Battlestar Galactica franchise, has been cast in as Dahl - a Nordic mercenary who is sent to track down Riddick.
- Diesel revealed in February on his Facebook page that some of the shooting would take place in the White Desert in Farafra, Egypt. They also scouted locations in New Zealand.
- Riddick has 900 visual effect shots more than The Chronicles and Pitch Black.
- The plot in the second half is similar to the plot in Pitch Black, albeit with the creatures coming out during rain storms rather than at night.
- Vin Diesel as Richard B. Riddick
- Jordi Mollà Perales as Santana
- Matthew Nable as Boss Johns
- Katee Sackhoff as Dahl
- Dave Bautista as Diaz
- Bokeem Woodbine as Moss
- Raul Trujillo as Lockspur
- Conrad Pla as Vargas
- Danny Blanco Hall as Falco
- Noah Danby as Nunez
- Neil Naber as Rubio
- Nolan Funk as Luna
- Karl Urban as Lord Vaako
- Andreas Apergis as Krone
- Keri Hilson as K.L. Sonhill
- Roger R. Cross as Toal (archive footage)
- Andy Thompson as Scalp Taker (archive footage)