Vin Diesel has been championing a third Riddick installment (simply titled Riddick) for years now, despite Chronicle of Riddick‘s under-performance at the box office. The project has overcome such obstacles as multiple production delays and even a collapse of funding at one point; meanwhile, Diesel has been building hype for the film by harnessing the power of the Internet – that is, releasing production stills and offering updates through his Facebook page.

Riddick is still without an official release date, but it has now taken one step closer to its goal of making it into theaters – namely, landing an official rating from the MPAA.

David Twohy wrote and directed the third Riddick movie, which has been sold as a return to the meaner and leaner thrills of Pitch Black; as opposed to the grand sci-fi epic design of Chronicles of Riddick, both of which Twohy also wrote and helmed. The storyline, as detailed in the official synopsis below, does fit with a grittier installment; hence, it’s encouraging to learn the film has indeed landed an R Rating (for “strong violence, language and some sexual content/nudity”):

The infamous Riddick has been left for dead on a sun-scorched planet that appears to be lifeless. Soon, however, he finds himself fighting for survival against alien predators more lethal than any human he’s encountered. The only way off is for Riddick to activate an emergency beacon and alert mercenaries who rapidly descend to the planet in search of their bounty.

The first ship to arrive carries a new breed of merc, more lethal and violent, while the second is captained by a man whose pursuit of Riddick is more personal. With time running out and a storm on the horizon that no one could survive, his hunters won’t leave the planet without Riddick’s head as their trophy.

The cast for Riddick includes Karl Urban (Dredd 3D), Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica), Bokeem Woodbine (Total Recall), Jordi Molla (Colombiana), Dave Bautista (The Man with the Iron Fists), Raoul Trujillo (Cowboys & Aliens), and Nolan Gerard Funk (House at the End of the Street). We will let you know when it lands an official release date.

Source: Box Office Mojo