It took 10 years for a sequel to 2003's Chronicles of Riddick to become a reality and the long journey to its theatrical release involved everything from licensing hurdles and scheduling conflicts to financial woes, but Vin Diesel and David Twohy's passion for the character, and Diesel's motivational social media fanbase helped make the project a reality.
In what Diesel himself describes as a "miracle," Riddick is back and the star hopes it's not just a one-shot and that it's the beginning of a continuation of the film franchise.
In our full Riddick interview with David Twohy, the writer and director confirmed that he and Vin Diesel have it in their minds that the series needs two additional installments to complete the chronicles.
"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."
And as fans of the Riddick character know, the antihero learns of his home planet of Furya in Chronicles, and the mysterious location is part of the plan should the film succeed and further sequels eventually become a reality.
"That's where we end up. I know what that movie looks like, I've talked it out. It has all the right notes, it's a great movie. The real question is: what do you do before you get there? Is it a voyage through the Necromonger universe? Do you have to earn the right to return home by some trial of fire? That's what we're talking about doing. Perhaps."
Karl Urban's Vaako makes a brief appearance in Riddick after having a key role in Chronicles of Riddick, and Twohy says there's more of that scene to be shown on the home video release. He also says there's definitely a big part to play for Urban in Riddick 4 & 5.
Riddick is the most personal character Diesel has played in his career, and he's so invested that he even mortgaged his own home to make the third installment happen and the reason it all came to be is thanks to his fans, some 46+ million on his Facebook page alone. It's these fans who also helped guide Diesel towards working with Marvel Studios, a topic of a great many of headlines over the summer and one that's resulting in him not only being in talks for a key role down the road in the series, but one that made Marvel want to give him a part to play immediately in Guardians of the Galaxy.
As for how soon the star could throw on the goggles again as the titular character in a potential Riddick 4, it wouldn't be anytime soon he tells Maria Menounos during an interview about his career and future:
"I don't want to mislead anybody with the recent success of Fast & Furious. I'm not going to be able to do Riddick at the same pace as Fast & Furious. It's just... It's just too dark."
Earlier in that same interview, Diesel explained the process in which he had to gain the rights from the studio for the project, emphasizing that, "it's a miracle that Riddick exists, it's a miracle that we're back on the boards, it's a miracle that we just unlocked the key to the continuation of this franchise."
While Diesel is excited about the potential of the future, he emphasized that he'd never be able to make Riddick installments at a rate anywhere near what Universal has been able to do for the Fast & Furious series. Part of it is the obvious scheduling issues, balancing multiple tentpole franchises, personal projects and slowly working away at his biggest passion project of all, Hannibal the Conqueror.
Riddick is written and directed by David Twohy and stars Vin Diesel, Katee Sackhoff, Matt Nable, Bokeem Woodbine, Dave Bautista and Karl Urban.
Riddick is out in theaters on September 6, 2013.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
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