Over the years, Riddick (Vin Diesel) has been compared to an animal a time or two. He is, after all, a killer, a brawler, and a bit of a wild man in most regards. So it’s only appropriate that the latest photos from Riddick, the oft delayed science fiction actioner, should feature the titular space outlaw standing next to what looks like some sort of space dog.
The two are an interesting pair. Space Dog is long and lean, and looks very fast, agile, and light on its feet. Riddick, on the other hand is thick with muscles, and has an appearance of power and brutality, like he’s ready to throw down at a moment’s notice. I wonder how these two distinct styles of this primal pair mesh. The real question is, is this his pet, a pseudo domesticated companion, or simply another wild beast with whom the antihero forms a bond based on mutual badassness?
These pictures come from the film’s official Twitter account. As a whole, Riddick, and especially star/producer Diesel, has relied on social media to disseminate information, posters, pictures, and more.
Riddick is the third film in the so-called “Furyan Chronicles,” which began in 2000 with Pitch Black, and continued in 2004 with The Chronicles of Riddick. While the first chapter was a gritty, R-rated, no frills sci-fi adventure, the second installment was bloated, expensive, and a toothless PG-13. Pitch Black is focused and constrained, but Chronicles tries, and fails, to create a sprawling, expansive with its own history and mythology, and is ultimately crushed beneath that weight. It also tries to make Riddick, the quintessential intergalactic desperado, into a hero. Sure he has a heart of gold and a keen sense of right and wrong, but a traditional champion he is not.
After Chronicles failed to deliver at the box office, the future of the franchise looked bleak. It’s a testament to Diesel and director David Twohy’s dedication that the film even got made. They received, and lost, funding multiple times. Production was a halting process, and the fact that we’ll actually see Riddick on screens this September is a minor miracle.
From all accounts—corroborated by evidence—Riddick is more in line with the first film in the franchise. Riddick finds himself stranded on the surface of a desolate, sun-scorched planet. Though it appears uninhabited at first glance, there be monsters, and before long they take exception to his presence. His only avenue of escape is to sound an alarm and reveal his whereabouts to the team of bounty hunters that dog him across the galaxy. The first ship to show up carries a new breed of mercenaries. The second, however, well that craft delivers a man with a score to settle with Riddick.
The film will be all over San Diego Comic-Con this week, so we’ll hopefully be hearing all sorts of juicy tidbits soon.
Riddick opens in IMAX September 6, and co-stars Karl Urban, Katee Sackhoff, Jordi Molla, Dave Bautista, Bokeem Woodbine, Matt Nable, and more.