It’s been a long, strange trip, but when Riddick hits theaters next Friday, September 6, it will be the culmination a journey that began nearly a decade ago. After years of starts and stops, both figuratively and literally, the well-muscled space outlaw finally returns to the big screen. We’ve seen photos, trailers, TV spots, and clips galore, but a new feature digs a little deeper into the production. And there’s another poster, this time of Riddick with his space dog. Maybe they bond because Riddick saves her puppy from a monster in that one clip.
Star Vin Diesel and director David Twohy spend some time talking about their passion project, but a lot of what they say is what they’ve been saying all along. They discuss how the originally envisioned three more movies after Chronicles of Riddick (if this film is a success, Twohy has already said they intend to make more films), and about how they wanted to get back to the grittier, more stripped down aesthetic and feel of the first film in the series, Pitch Black. This is all well and good, and you really do feel their enthusiasm.
The real moneymaker here, however, is that there is a bunch of new footage crammed into this two-minute video. The story finds Riddick (Diesel) at something of a crossroads in his life. Most of what we’ve seen focuses on his immediate situation, stranded on a desolate planet, fighting for his life against vicious native creatures and a badass gang of intergalactic bounty hunters. Neither foe is to be taken lightly. What hasn’t been touched on much, outside of a short motion comic, is what happens between Chronicles and the present. The footage, as well as Twohy and Diesel’s words, shed some light on this lost time.
At the end of Chronicles, Riddick kills the leader of the Necromongers. By their rules, you keep what you kill, which means that he’s now the big man in charge. Knowing Riddick’s anti-authoritarian personality like we do, this doesn’t seem like a good fit. These days he’s a little older, a little wiser, a little more pensive. As the video says, he’s looking back to where he came from, to where he’s going, kind of like a mid-life crisis. We don’t know exactly how he wound up on this planet—though from the guy in the Necromonger armor, you get the impression that he just skipped out on his ruling duties, and that his former subjects may not be too pleased with that. Regardless of how he got there, the reason he headed to this specific planet is that he thought it was his home world, Furya, of which he is the last surviving son. Turns out that he was sorely mistaken, but it’s indicative of the kind of quest he’s on, and every hero needs a quest.
There is a storm on the horizon, a very real one, as well as the metaphorical kind. We know that Riddick earned a hard R rating from the MPAA, but Twohy promises a movie that is “dark and visceral,” as well as one that is full of surprises. And honestly, as long as there’s plenty of action, most of us will be pleased.