I like Riddick. He’s a gritty character but it doesn’t feel like he’s trying to sell gritty because he’s simply an unapologetic murderer with the superpower to see in the dark. A badass doesn’t have to tell you he’s a badass. It was a charming character in a cult film, and it didn’t translate to something epic in the studio-financed PG-13 sequel. But that flop only made me feel more protective of the character and hopeful that he would return in a better and more fitting story. Riddick looks like a response and a realization: a response to the flaws of The Chronicles of Riddick and a realization to play to the strengths of Pitch Black. While we didn’t see a lot of new stuff during the Comic-Con’s panel, writer/director David Twohy, and stars Vin Diesel and Katee Sackhoff provided a clear vision for the third installment and laying out why their characters are appealing. Unrelated to Riddick, Diesel got a Marvel question during the audience Q&A and gave a reluctant but interesting response.
Hit the jump to read the panel and check out a new restricted trailer. Riddick opens September 6th.
Check out the trailer for Riddick below, followed by the panel recap:
Twohy comes on stage and talks about Sackhoff’s character, Doll, a mercenary who comes to hunt Riddick, but realizes that while he’s dangerous, he’s not the worst thing on the planet. We then get a quick montage of her character showcasing her badass appeal, especially with a sniper rifle.
Then we get a brief montage for Riddick, where we see more action and a voiceover where the character says somewhere along the way he got civilized, and now he needs to find the animal again.
Moderator Drew McWeeny led off with asking how they approached the third film, and Twohy said that knowing this would be an indie instead of a studio film, it was daunting but also liberating. So Twohy and Diesel batted around ideas, they came up with a survival story, Twohy wrote a spec script, they shopped it around for financing, and that they managed “to pay off past debts and move into new territory.”
- He’s driven by some quest for identity, and trying to build that mythology across the trilogy.
Sackhoff’s thoughts when Twohy asked her to sign on:
- She said she was on the bandwagon since Pitch Black, and that she was willing to do almost anything to get involved with Riddick. She likes that Doll is unapologetic and without vulnerability. She also likes that she got to shoot guns, and she thinks her gun was the biggest one.
Vin Diesel on how role-playing affects his approach to character:
- Dungeons & Dragons was a breeding ground for imagination for him. It was a game before there was anything online where players would act out their characters, and they came to believe they were this witch hunter (for example) and the dice were your weapon. He goes on to say that they were able to honor the mythology of Chronicles and the character of Pitch Black, and the reconciliation came from the Dungeon Master mentality. He then goes on to say that when the audience asked for the third installment to be rated-R, it helped because they didn’t need $200 million to make the film. They’re proud of Riddick because it services the tone and style of Pitch Black but the mythology of Chronicles, “and you know you’ll end up in the underverse,” says Diesel.
We’re then shown a trailer (seen above) that’s almost entirely the red-band trailer but with a little new footage focusing on the monsters plus a shot of a brutal kill.
Diesel talking about if the fight scenes come easy:
- “Nothing comes easy when I’m in character, because I take everything so seriously when I’m in character.” He then goes on to talk about how Dom Toretto has a lot of anger, but also love for friends and family. “What’s inside Riddick is so scary, that now that I have kids, there’s a part of me that feels guilty for having such a darkness in that characters. I go ‘That wasn’t cool! You shouldn’t kill that guy!’” The physical aspect is a bit more natural for him, but the emotion behind the fighting is what he feels is the weighty part of that process. He says that the fight between him and Dwayne Johnson in Fast Five lasted five days, but it was the emotional part that was truly taxing. It’s not about the athleticism as much as the emotions.
- She and Twohy talked about backstory that we won’t see, but we will see that the character is trying to prove something not necessarily to herself, but to the people in her life. She’s also funny and ironic, but there’s “a hurt inside her that’s incredibly dark.” So her behavior is also an act of self-punishment for previous deeds. It’s not compassion she feels for Riddick, but there’s a kinship because she’s seen the darkness in herself in someone else.
What is Vin Diesel’s “vision” for the upcoming Marvel movies (a joke about Diesel slyly telling fans on Facebook that he had been talking to Marvel, and fan speculation that he would play Vision)?
- “[The audience member] asked the one question I’m not supposed to saying anything of?” He did say there’s some big news coming at the end of this month. “Poor Marvel. Poor, poor Marvel.”
I don’t want Marvel to overshadow this panel. Yes, it’s newsworthy and I’m sure all of Diesel’s fans would love for him to be part of that movie universe. But I hope they’re also happy that his original creation, Richard B. Riddick, has scraped out a new story after a nine-year absence. It looks like a lot of fun, and I’m glad they’re not giving too much away. Here’s hoping that Riddick has been worth the wait.