Richard B. Riddick isn't a man who can be easily killed. As he says in the international trailer for the latest action movie centered on his exploits, "I don't know how many times I've been crossed off the list and left for dead." Like its titular character, the Riddick series could only be kept dormant for so long by the disappointing box office performance of The Chronicles of Riddick, and so the Alpha Furyan returns next month in another film all about battling impossible odds, simply titled Riddick.
Despite being depicted in a position of considerable power at the end of the last movie, Riddick (Vin Diesel) finds himself in dire straits once more and teams up with a group of mercenaries to escape the sun-scorched planet on which he finds himself and defeat waves of hostile alien creatures. Riddick has the potential to be the major comeback for the series, commercially-speaking, but the R rated movie really needs to pull in a profit at the box office if the story is to be continued in further sequels.
However, Diesel doesn't seem too concerned about the future of Riddick's monster-slaying career, and even called Karl Urban back to shoot additional scenes specifically to advance the mythology and lay the groundwork for the fourth movie in the series. Speaking in an interview with SFX, Diesel outlined the intentions for the next two movies in the Riddick franchise, and where the begoggled anti-hero will be going next:
“You’ve got to go to the Underverse. It’s expected, it’s something I firmly believe. You’ll have to go through the Underverse to get to Furya. So, those are the two further stories that are mapped out. The Underverse is a much more costly venture. We went this direction, trying to do an R rated movie, which is cool and even more interesting because it’s so unexpected. But yes, you will be at the Underverse and you will be at Furya sooner or later.”
The events in his path seem like they're fairly well determined already, but when exactly Riddick will head into the Underverse and eventually back to his home world of Furya is another matter entirely. Four years passed between the release of Pitch Black and its sequel The Chronicles of Riddick, and another nine years will have passed by the time Riddick is released. How quickly a fourth chapter in the series arrives (if at all) will largely depend on how Riddick performs at the box office next month.
Another notable implication in Diesel's words is that future installments in the series might strive for a return to the PG-13 rating of The Chronicles of Riddick, in particular for the movie that deals with Riddick's adventures in the Underverse, which will require a substantial budget. From Diesel's description, Riddick sounds almost like an indulgence in all the bloody mayhem that an R rated action movie permits, whereas the future movies might have a stronger emphasis on the sci-fi mythos that has been built up in the series, rather than elaborately violent battle sequences.
Diesel is a big box office draw at the moment and the Riddick series has built up a healthy fanbase over the years. Presuming Riddick does well enough at the box office to guarantee a couple of sequels, do you like the sound of the journey that's been mapped out for the character?
Riddick will be out in theaters September 4th, 2013.