Sci-fi action/horror Pitch Black introduced audiences to survivalist Richard B. Riddick, played by then relative-unknown Vin Diesel; that cult hit gave rise to a bigger-budgeted followup, The Chronicles of Riddick, which under-performed both critically and financially. However, after nine years of stop-and-go progress and relative shoestring budgeting, a third installment was released last year, in the form of Riddick.
Riddick – once again directed by David Twohy – managed to eclipse its $38 million budget in the U.S. and grossed $98 million around the globe. That made the movie a profitable endeavor (not accounting for marketing), but it wasn’t clear if that was good enough to keep Universal interested in making a fourth Riddick installment… until now.
According to the LA Times, Riddick was the best-selling DVD and Blu-ray title during its first week of release. Universal took notice and reached out to Diesel, who then shared the good news with his 63 million Facebook fans in a video that starts off with him dancing and lip-syncing to Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” (see for yourself), before he then provides the following explanation (at the 3:12 mark):
“I’m just excited, and happy, and I’m shouting out to you guys to say thank you. Universal just called me and told me Riddick is number one on the DVD charts. There’s no way Riddick would have been made without you guys. You know that. and you guys have been a part of our page since 2012 and remember how arduous a road it was to get the movie made, and to make it rated ‘R,’ and to do it with such a low budget. It’s a win for all of us and I really, really thank you so much.”
That was when Diesel offer the really juicy tidbit of news for fans, saying that “Yeah, I’m excited and of course, Universal also says they want to develop the next one.”
Critics, as a whole, were somewhat lukewarm about how successful Riddick is at calling back to plot/themes from previous films, while still progressing the mythology. However, the film pleased many longtime fans and got Screen Rant’s Ben Kendrick’s stamp of approval (What more do you need to know?); perhaps most importantly story-wise, left things open for additional installments.
In fact, during our interview with him, Twohy admitted that, given his way, he would complete the saga by making a fourth and fifth chapter:
“I believe there are two more movies. And I think it’s good that we are looking at ending the series so it doesn’t feel like an open-ended thing, like we’re doing it just for monetary reasons and we’ve just got to keep rolling it over and rolling it over. I think there’s a real end to this and I know what that last movie looks like. The real question is: is it like a two-parter rather than a one-parter? So I think we’re both thinking the same thing, that there’s two more movies in the series.”
As to the exact narrative course that will be charted by those two movies, that remains to be seen; though, the list of stops on the way will certainly include Riddick’s Furya home planet and potentially other places in the Necromonger universe. We hope to have more details to offer you soon, as early development on Riddick 4 (and beyond?) gets underway.
Riddick is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.