Amped Up Riddick Sequel Underway

Fast & Furious
via Universal

Rumors have it that the long-awaited Riddick sequel is gathering steam and is busy casting sexy new characters. The sequel as of now is being called Riddick, and is concentrating more on being a direct sequel to the original Pitch Black instead of a continuation of the commercially disappointing The Chronicles of Riddick. This third installment in the sci-fi saga of a galactic bad-ass antihero will see original director David Twohy re-teaming with Pitch Black star Vin Diesel.

In what seems like an attempt to distance themselves from the second sequel The Chronicles of RiddickMoviehole reports that Riddick will only make minor references to Chronicles and will tie in much more closely with the original Pitch Black. It will also see a “kick-ass overhaul” to hulking warrior Riddick. Reportedly, he’ll be “more brutal, bad-ass, and virile than he was in previous films.”

So, wow. Diesel brought Riddick to life in Pitch Black, and I can’t imagine a character more brutal, bad-ass and virile than Diesel was in that role. It wasn’t just his huge muscles and shaved head or even his polished eyeballs that glinted in the dark that made him a bad-ass character; it was the way he dispatched huge alien monsters, bounty hunters, and just about every obstacle in his way with very little emotion or difficulty.

Universal Pictures hasn’t officially commented on Riddick, so we have to take the information on Moviehole as perhaps informed rumor. They certainly sound like they are in the know, particularly concerning the script and casting tidbits. They report that four characters are being cast now;  Boss Johns (could this character be related to Cole Hauser‘s role in the original, merc William Johns?), Santana, the sexy female merc Dahl, and the smug commander Krone.

Sound like some intriguing characters are being scouted, and if Boss Johns has anything to do with Johns from the original movie, I’m even more excited. Apparently, the script throws Riddick back into a tighter, more intimate story again. He’s on a planet and fighting for his life against aliens and mercenaries that want to kill him.

Fans of the franchise can usually agree that Pitch Black was completely awesome, and did amazing things with a limited budget. The CGI was above board, the acting/casting worked wonders with chemistry, and Twohy’s script and directing gave the sci-fi film a personal, intimate grittiness. There was a raw wonder to the sci-fi elements and well-choreographed violence, but also some brutal emotional moments.

The sequel was a disappointment on many levels. It had a much larger budget to work with after Pitch Black became somewhat of a sensation, and filmmkers tried to make a film simply too large in scope. It lost the character-driven story and emotional weight of the original and replaced it with glittery special effects and monumental battle scenes.

So far I like what I’m hearing about this sequel. I’m a fan, and I’ve been hoping for a third Riddick movie for a long time. That Twohy is on board and has written the script is very appealing, and hopefully he’ll recapture the genius behind Pitch Black.

If you haven’t seen the original, you should check it out and just immerse yourself in the austere environment and mythology of Riddick’s universe. I’m just glad Diesel’s recent success in Fast Five has given him enough clout to get this film up and running.

What do you think of the Riddick sequel?

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