‘Riddick’ Hits IMAX Theaters in September 2013; Vin Diesel to Become ‘Kojak’

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riddick release date Riddick Hits IMAX Theaters in September 2013; Vin Diesel to Become Kojak

Vin Diesel re-invigorated both his flailing career and the Fast and the Furious series when he returned for the fourth installment, Fast & Furious (passing over his Tokyo Drift cameo, that is). We’ll have to wait and see if he replicates that success with the belated followup to the cult science-fiction titles Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick, simply titled Riddick.

We have two Diesel-related stories to cover today, beginning with the confirmation that Riddick has (finally) secured a theatrical release date. In addition, its leading man is lined up for a new project (one which involves neither fugitive racers nor intergalactic bounty hunters, no less): a movie based on the popular 1970s crime procedural Kojak.

In certain circles, there’s far more interest in Vin Diesel’s return to the Pitch Black universe with Riddick than next year’s Fast and the Furious 6. The threequel – from franchise architect David Twohy – has overcome such obstacles as Chronicle of Riddick‘s so-so box office performance ($115 million gross on a $105 million budget) and even a collapse in funding, in order to happen. Similarly, Diesel has proven to be apt at social media marketing, with respect to him keeping fans up-to-date with deets and production photos through his Facebook page.

Case in point: Diesel broke the Riddick release date story with this FB status post (marked for September 6th, 2013):

The release date of next year’s RIDDICK.

IMAX… very cool, great job DT.


The Riddick synopsis alludes to an installment that embraces visceral-thriller elements of Pitch Black, while all-but abandoning the sci-fi universe and mythology construction in Chronicles of RiddickRiddick securing an R Rating, lends more credence to that assumption. Such a film might not be an ideal candidate for post-conversion to IMAX, depending on how it was shot (see: The Hunger Games); then again, the results would probably still be better than if a post-3D format was slapped on instead. Moving on…



Deadline is reporting that Universal has Diesel onboard to headline a Kojak movie adaptation, with a script being written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. The duo announced recently their retirement from the James Bond franchise, following the release (and success) of Skyfall, which they co-penned with John Logan.

kojak vin diesel movie Riddick Hits IMAX Theaters in September 2013; Vin Diesel to Become Kojak

Telly Savalas as Lt. Theodare “Theo” Kojak

Kojak was created by Oscar-winner Abby Mann (Judgement at Nuremberg) and ran for five seasons from 1973-78. Telly Savalas received four Golden Globe nods (and two wins) for his portrayal of the titular character: a righteous NYC cop who had a thing for Tootsie Roll Pops, catchphrases (“Who loves ya, baby?”) and never backing down from the challenges of an investigation. In other words, he was a trendsetter for what is now considered the archetypal TV show police officer-with-attitude.

One could argue that Diesel does indeed possess the screen presence to pull off all aspects of the Kojak character, in keeping with Savalas’ performance. However, Deadline indicates that the chrome-dome cop is getting a makeover, as Purvis and Wade are going to “re-imagine and contemporize [the show] for the big screen.” Could that mean Diesel as the new Savalas will be a sterner figure who lacks the aforementioned personality quirks (similar to Daniel Craig’s James Bond) – and, if so, would that be a good or bad thing?

Let us know what you think in the comments.


Riddick opens in regular and IMAX theaters on September 6th, 2013.

Source: Vin Diesel, Deadline

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  1. anyone know when we can get to see a fast and furious six trailer it is one my most anticipated movies next year

    • I heard not until the SuperBowl.

  2. I like Vinny D and although the Riddick movies aren’t particularly innovative or revolutionary, I respect David Twohy as a writer and director. I have grown to love and appreciate the Riddick universe and I look forward to the film ( and hopefully and new pc game in the future).
    As for Kojak, if the persona of the character resembles Vinny D in ” A Man Apart”, I will happily watch it.

  3. I find Vin Diesel to a facinating actor to watch because I honestly think he gets by on charisma alone (which hey, long as it entertains more power to him). Kinda disappointed here they will be dropping they mythology they created in Chronicles of Riddick, but I guess you go with what works and that movie barely did.

    I think Vin Diesel is a perfect choice to play Kojak. I’m all for modernizing it but if they are going to drop the trademark elements of the character that would be a waste and what would be the point.

  4. Big Mistake Twohy! Too many Sci-fi movies coming the same year. Should of been January of 2014!

    • There can never be too many Science-Fiction movies. That’s impossible! ;)

      • Look at the release dates for 2013 on Wikipedia. And you’ll know what I mean.

  5. Love the Riddick character and universe. I am so glad that we get another tour in the world of Riddick. As for Vin Diesel the actor, he is pretty much just that Vin Diesel. I mean most of his characters could be pretty much interchangeable in terms of attitude but hey, he does it well. I like him.

    Kojak will be a good fit for him. I can not wait.

  6. I’m really looking forward to watching Chronicles and Fast Six.

  7. Aww man, that’s so long away. I was hoping for an early summer release for this.
    I won’t be paying the IMAX surcharge for a post convert job like this, but at least they didn’t do a 3D post conversion job (which you’d think would be more likely).

    In any case, I’m looking forward to it.

  8. As far as updating Kojak is concerned, I think if it is done as well as Hawaii Five-O, it may work. McGarrett STILL gets to say, “Book’im, Dann-o,” but not too often — just enough to keep a bit of the original show. And the original theme song is used, too. If they keep some of this stuff, a revamped Kojak with VD would be terrific!

  9. It’s a good move on their part to drop the movie in September. It would’ve gotten whupped if it came out in the summer where it’s already over crowded with films. As far as Vin doing Kojak? I think he can do it; he has played some serious roles before and he was great in them. If you can look past his action movies and his bodybuilder physique, I think he would make for a cool Kojak.

  10. I would love to see the writers challenge Vin in a KOJACK role, as for ‘Riddick’ hey I’m there, just as soon as it hits the theater…

  11. Bear in mind that they tried revamping another 70s cop…remember Samuel L. Jackson in “SHAFT”?

    Oh, let’s not forget “S.W.A.T.”, starring (OMIGAWWD!) Samuel L. Jackson & based on the 1975 series of the same name…

    • How is the movie “S.W.A.T.” connected to the Marvel Movie Universe?

      1. Samuel L. Jackson as the leader of the team.

      2. Colin Farrell was Bullseye in Daredevil.

      3. Jeremy Renner is part of the team

  12. Did they not already remake Kojack as a tv show with Ving Rhames?

  13. Indeed they did…the series lasted for one season; apparently, there was no interest in a Black actor playing a Greek Caucasian NYPD Detective among the racially-intolerant viewership.