In a cinema culture where "sequel" is usually synonymous with "bigger-louder-flashier," Riddick
is something of an anomaly. After expanding the universe of his cult-sleeper-hit Pitch Black
significantly in the studio-backed Chronicles of Riddick
, writer/director David Twohy has actually scaled things back for the taut, contained third entry in the series.
This one finds Vin Diesel reprising his role as the titular convict anti-hero with night vision. Stalwart fans may remember that Riddick ended up as royalty at the end of the previous films -- but it turns out that this stint was short lived. As the first five minutes reveal, Riddick has been ejected and left to rough it Jeremiah Johnson style on a planet which seems barren... except for hyena-like alien dogs and fierce cobra-tail monsters. Some mercs who want the poor guy's head show up too, just to make sure nothing's too easy.
This time, it was the fans, not the studios, who wanted another Riddick movie, and so, to get this one made, Diesel and Twohy had to complete the film without major backing. This situation dictated the more-contained story (a step-up from the messy previous film, honestly), and also allowed them to embrace the R rating to its fullest.
So that's the bare-bones, PR-friendly story on Riddick. But now, join me as I highlight the eight most interesting facts and tidbits I gleaned at the press conference with Vin Diesel, Katee Sackhoff and David Twohy -- from Sackhoff's sniper rifle expertise to Diesel's take on Spielberg's film industry speech.
Vin Diesel risked his house for Riddick.
As noted, Riddick was not bankrolled by a studio. Diesel mentioned finding starting funds at a European film market, but apparently that wasn't quite enough. Said Diesel:
"It was one thing to be a producer on Fast and Furious. But for this movie, I was the producer of something where, if it didn't work, I lost my house. Everything i had in my life was leveraged to make this movie... The skin in the game was real."
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