Movie News

David Twohy Talks About The Upcoming PITCH BLACK / RIDDICK Trilogy -- Only Here @ AICN!!!

Published at: June 19, 2002, 12:51 a.m. CST

Hey Folks, Harry here... After I got the news from Variety that David Twohy had landed the dream gig of creating his own trilogy involving the Riddick character from PITCH BLACK, I wrote to congratulate him and to see what juicy morsels I could come up with. Well, today I heard back... and at the same time I saw this groovy promotional item that Bloody-Disgusting.Com came up with. Here it is...








First of all, it seems that Twohy and Universal are aiming to start shooting as early as October of this year, with the idea for the first CHRONICLE OF RIDDICK to hit theaters that following October of 2003! They are aiming to push the limits of PG-13 or "just fuck it and go for an 'R.' The tone and subject matter certainly lends itself to the latter." After telling me this, David wrote a rather tantilizing letter that he has told me to share with all y'all, and if this just doesn't get your jones going, then I feel sorry for you. The idea of an evil twin STAR WARS that basically postulates... what if Luke Skywalker was a Vin Diesel character named Riddick, and he was as good a guy as you'd run across... and he's a cold blooded murderer... Well, this sounds a bit like what Leone would do with special effects and a badass like Diesel. Twohy is finally getting his A-film shot, and folks... I'm ready to hold on for the ride, Vin's gonna be a total badass and I'm pulling for this film to kick major ass!

Harry,  

So I wrote a treatment for a sequel two years ago, and it was deemed too big, too rich of a follow-up.  Well, that was then -- and Vin is now.  We can think “too big.”  So we’re using that treatment as a matrix, layering in new characters and new dimensions as we create a whole multi-verse that will carry us through two, possibly three more films.  It’s a multi-verse full of competing agendas and countervailing strengths.  Riddick is but one of those strengths, and he’ll tap into primal powers he didn’t know he had, evolving into something more powerful.  Something even darker.    

To bring it into focus for the studio, I pitched a franchise that would be “the evil twin of ‘Star Wars’.”  And they got it immediately.  Instead of cold technology on parade, “Chronicles” will be a hot-blooded affair that marches to the tune of corruption, defiance, chaos.  It won’t be so much a horror film (as some thought “Pitch Black” to be) as a dark action-adventure movie with our own brand of epic mythology.    

Oh, did I mention "dark"?  

One of the things we saw, early on, was a parallel to the “Terminator” series:  The audience actually liked the antagonist by the end of the first movie.  Knowing this, Cameron smartly changed the dynamic for the sequel, pitting Arnold against the T-1000, overmatching him so that the audience could root for him.  Well, point taken:  We will overmatch Riddick in all our follow-up movies.  He has to have Big Foes, and we’ve got them.  Plenty of ‘em.     

Again, thanks to “Ain’t It Cool News.”  We remember how “Pitch Black” had virtually zero awareness a month before its release – and then along came your review.  That kick-started a lot of good web-buzz for us.  Little did we dream it would lead to this.    

David Twohy

Readers Talkback

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  • June 19, 2002, 1:15 a.m. CST

    Riddick has endless franchise potential.

    by Christopher3

    A badass ex-con in space is a formula infinitely more flexible than, say, James Bond or the Alien series. Like John McClane, you can probably drop Riddick into any existing sci-fi script (except maybe "Rezendevous With Rama" or "Solaris") and it would work.

  • June 19, 2002, 1:29 a.m. CST

    I didn't care much for the first one but...

    by coop

    the thing it had going for it was the Riddick character. I didn't hate it, it just was a so so film. I do see how they could make a good film out of the character so I'll give it a chance and it's a much better idea than the Scorpion King. Who thought THAT was a good idea?

  • June 19, 2002, 1:29 a.m. CST

    Vin Diesel is a Bad Ass

    by CleverMovieName

    I've loved this guy since Iron Giant (watch it if you haven't!). He's not the greatest actor in the world, but he has a pressence... he's a bad-ass, plain and simple. And Pitch Black is incredible. It looked like CRAP when I saw the ads, but I rented it one night and I was really impressed. The trilogy idea sounds incredible. I hope it gets done and rocks film making as we know it!

  • June 19, 2002, 1:31 a.m. CST

    coop has it right on

    by JonQuixote

    The first movie was really inconsistant. Well directed, good visual-sense, but mostly inane (how the hell would a planet's dominant lifeform be nocturnal if it's only dark once every 25 years?. The thing that really made it work was Vin Diesel: the guy is one charismatic motherfucker. This article really tells us nothing, but that the filmmakers WANT to go in the right direction for this franchise. I say bring it on!

  • June 19, 2002, 1:40 a.m. CST

    I love PITCH BLACK but... (spoiler)

    by fuldamobil

    What made that film so compelling was Radha Mitchell's character. riddick was cool and I understand his character's transformation, but the heart of the film was Radha Mitchell and how her character goes from being ready to sacrifice others to save herself to sacrificing herself to save others. Her performance was great while Vin Diesel was a little one-dimensional. Plus a female science fiction hero who dies was an incredibly novel idea that was exciting to watch, ALIEN notwithstanding. So, what I'm saying is, the Riddick films don't seem so interesting.

  • June 19, 2002, 2:15 a.m. CST

    Undeniable proof of Hollywood milking the cow dry.

    by MCVamp

    Funny how a sequel to what was essentially a bomb can spark interest once its star suddenly becomes "the next big thing" as far as action movies go. If XXX bombs, the Pitch Black trilogy is in for a bumpy ride.

  • June 19, 2002, 2:26 a.m. CST

    Bomb

    by JonQuixote

    How do you get off saying Pitch Black was a bomb? The movie doubled its budget domestically...add worldwide and killer video, and that's some decent coin. A movie doesn't have to break $100 mil to be successful, y'know? *** And while the Radha Mitchell character was compelling, Riddick did really steal the show. Assuming both characters made it to the credits, which one would YOU liked to have followed to a sequel?

  • June 19, 2002, 2:39 a.m. CST

    Fine... not a bomb...

    by MCVamp

    But the basis of a theatrical action franchise? THAT usually does require a $100 million dollar or more gross. I will say this though, the relative obscurity of Pitch Black (and I never said it was a bad movie, or Vin a bad actor) could play in its favor. After all, selling a NEW sci-fi franchise is easier than selling one that didn't exactly explode out of the gates on its original release. The idea of Vin Diesel powering a "new" sci-fi franchise to be isn't necessarily a bad idea, and in a way is probably the prevailing logic behind it. I wouldn't mind seeing these movies if they reflect even half of the passion the filmmaker seems to have for it. But Pitch Black was a lot like Blade to me. A decent idea that resulted in an about average flick... that was embraced with a cult-like fervor by an internet-vocal minority. And I guarantee a series of Pitch Black sequels would be ten times better than any present or future Jennifer Lopez vehicles.

  • June 19, 2002, 2:53 a.m. CST

    No, This Could Be Good...

    by Prankster

    I thought the first movie had qutie a bit of cool stuff going for it, but I was disappointed that the structure was just the latest rehash of ALIEN. All the actual details and characters were interesting and compelling, but it was held back by the fact that we've seen umpteen zillion movies about people stranded in a remote location under siege by alien monsters. However, Twohy has demonstrated he knows what he's doing by focusing on Riddick having different adventures for the sequels, rather than contriving a way to recreate the first movie. I'm always up for a good *epic* space movie, the kind that deals with roaming the cosmos, with intelligent alien species and star-spanning battles. Sure, it's a familiar structure as well, but it feels expansive and promising, with lots of room for invention. I mean, even if you're going to totally rip off Star Wars or Trek for the basic idiom, there's still plenty of room for cool, fun, imaginative stuff. And it's going to be character-based instead of plot- or concept-based, which is another plus. You can complain about "formulaicness", but actually we hardly get any movies in this genre these days. I'm delighted to see Twohy thinking big. More power to you, sir! My only fear is that these are going to be "prequels", which I'm heartily sick of...I want to see what happens NEXT, not what happened before.

  • June 19, 2002, 3:03 a.m. CST

    Evil twin of Star Wars? Sounds good...

    by Lord_Soth

    But you might need a HUGE budget to make it a REAL competitor.

  • June 19, 2002, 3:53 a.m. CST

    still no news on the Twohy /Darren Aronofsky film, Below

    by otis von zipper

    I'm as eager to see a Pitch Black 2 as the next guy, but since that's at least a year away, how about some info on when we'll get to see Below. I've seen release dates for Europe and S. America, but nuthin' for the States.

  • June 19, 2002, 7:08 a.m. CST

    All his Harry bashing is kinda sad...

    by EIFF

    I think that the character of Riddick is a bit shallow for 4 films, but another one film might be interesting. Yet again, I don't have the material David Twohy has. And stop flaming Harry, just cos he likes a film and you don't it doesn't me his opinion means shit. Its an OPINION. All you sad little pathetic geeks try to shove your OPINION down peoples throats and make it a FACT. Just Sad.

  • June 19, 2002, 7:10 a.m. CST

    Cool Beans!

    by FanHalen

    It'll work.

  • June 19, 2002, 7:35 a.m. CST

    a Pitch Black SPIN OFF!!!

    by Diplan

    i heard , that there was a pitch black spin off, set 20 years before they crash in the planet, a that we learn what happens to the people there, and how they manage to escape.

  • June 19, 2002, 7:47 a.m. CST

    Did I mention...

    by MPJedi2

    ...it's dark. Vin Disel is a bad ass cold-blooded killer, and it's dark. It'll be epic, and dark. In fact this movie will be so dark, it'll just be a black screen. I know you fan boys out there love dark, so I'm going to just talk about that on and on. Oh, then I'll make comparisons to other film series that are popular. Except we'll be darker than them. Vin Diesel will do the whole film with marbles in his mouth, dark colored marbles, of course. Of course, I'll throw in a highly veiled Star Wars jab, so you'll all feel like I'm one of you. (It does have to be highly veiled, as George might crush me like a bug. Or ILM Might not bid for the effects.) Hey, it's dark! You know, really dark. Can I suck your dick while I tell you how dark it is? IT'S DARK!!!!

  • June 19, 2002, 7:49 a.m. CST

    THWOY- IF YOU'RE READING: THANK YOU

    by prince kamal

    You've restored a little bit of faith in this abused film fan.

  • June 19, 2002, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Christ, as if Diesel's ego wasn't big enough...

    by Lance Rock

    Watch Vin as he assumes his place as the new American Action Hero!...I can see Stallone nodding sadly, whispering, "enjoy it while it lasts, kid."

  • June 19, 2002, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Akiva Goldsman is writing this

    by Zim Zala Bim

    Damn those execs. I swore that I'd never see another Goldsman film after getting suckered by Batman3-4, Lost in Space, A time to kill... Now they did the only thing that could get me to see another. I really enjoyed Pitch Black. I really like Vin Diesel. I was intrigued by a Riddick movie... then they go and give this great possibility to the shittiest overrated writer in Hollywood. I admire Goldsman's tenacity, but not his talent. He should become an agent for promising screenwriters, and leave SF films to ANYBODY else.

  • June 19, 2002, 10:05 a.m. CST

    History?

    by ProzacMorris

    I wonder, just because it is something I do a lot, if COLE HAUSER will be back for the prequels? It would be cool to see their past relationship and he would be a great "villain" (dirty cop) from the start.

  • My first reaction was, "Puh-leeze!" The only way this series about a bad-ass anti-hero protagonist could work is if he changes somehow to redeem himself, as he showed definite potential for at the very end of Pitch Black. For him to become something darker is bullshit. Would we have cared one fucking bit about Arnold as the Terminator, had he not become an ally of John Conner in T2? He'd have been just a replay of the monster we'd seen in the first movie, not a hero, or even a supplementary one. I'm all for Riddick changing, but he's got to go the Darth Vader route somehow, or by and large audiences won't care.

  • June 19, 2002, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Pitch Black was either weirdly cool or coolly weird, but it wasn

    by moderator

    Everything seemed so contrived and so artificial. And just when I thought that this film couldn't make me more uncomfortable, they reveal that the effeminate young man immitating Riddick was in reality a masculine young woman having her period. Ugh!

  • June 19, 2002, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Zim Zala Bim, I have good news for you ...

    by godoffireinhell

    Akiva Goldsman is not writing this film. He did a draft of the screenplay and Universal PASSED on it because they didn't like it. The same happened to David Hayter's original draft. Those scripts won't be filmed. I'm not evn sure they'll stick with the "Chronicles of Riddick" title which came up when Hayter wanted to do the life-story of Riddick, from his birth to his adventures in prison, to the stuff on the planet we already saw in the first film and from that onwards into unknown territory. Pretty bad idea if you ask me.

  • June 19, 2002, 11:27 a.m. CST

    "So how does it look now?"

    by BruceL

  • June 19, 2002, 11:27 a.m. CST

    "Looks clear"

    by BruceL

  • June 19, 2002, 11:30 a.m. CST

    the slamm

    by trkane

    i'd prefer if people referred to riddick's prison days as his time in "the slamm." does it have to have 2 m's? - yes.

  • June 19, 2002, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Not a big fan of Pitch Black, but...

    by Elwood Blues

    I am very interested in the idea for a trilogy around Riddick. Pitch Black fell short of my expectations (after reading all the good things about it here), but I saw potential in it, especially in Riddick. A larger story spanning several movies, a dark version of Star Wars as Twohy said, really sounds interesting. I'm all for a dark complicated trilogy. I'd probaly appreciate Pitch Black more if they turn out to be well made. Good luck David Twohy!

  • June 19, 2002, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Sequel hopes

    by Andel Crodo

    I dug Pitch Black, despite the plodding pace and numerous frustrating questions it left in its wake. A sequel was inevitable, yet I had hoped they would go with an entirely different cast. Like an 'Aliens' but without Ripley. - - - - - - - Of course Radha Mitchell's character was the primary arc of Pitch Black. Riddick was just a subplot and certainly not the protagonist of the film. Then again, Radha Mitchell's character (notice how no one even remembers the character's name?) was hardly superheroish and is now very dead. While a prequel may have been possible, it wouldn't make sense -- she knows nothing of the planet nor its beasties, and Riddick's in jail at the time. - - - - - - - "The evil twin of 'Star Wars'" -- "A parallel to the 'Terminator' series" These statements make me all giggly an'junk. They can't be serious. Riddick isn't interesting enough on his own. He's just Mad Max in space with a heart 3 sizes too small, only now he'll also have some '6-Million Dollar Man' attachments for good measure. - - - - - - - - A sequel would work better if they follow the same mold set in the first movie; i.e. tell someone else's story while a Riddick subplot sattelites around it. This is the same problem I have with the SW prequels. Vader was way more interesting when he had way less screen time.

  • June 19, 2002, 1:35 p.m. CST

    prequel

    by BruceL

    A prequel would have been cool only if it had been about Cole Hauser chasing Riddick around the universe.

  • June 19, 2002, 1:53 p.m. CST

    As much as I don't trust Ebert

    by Ribbons

    He wrote a fairly accurate review regarding this movie. It was very well-done, and avoided many pitfalls that come with sci-fi actioners; however, the very concept is a bad movie at heart. While I'm willing to suspend disbelief when I go to the theater, natural selection would beg the question: how exactly does a nocturnal animal exist on a planet where the sky remains sunlit for 25 years? Also, what are the chances that at least one sun remains in view for 25 years? As I watched the film I thought: perhaps these creatures were already evolved and then later somehow ended up on this planet (via transportation accident; maybe they killed the crew of a space shuttle and crash-landed). Then again, these answers are not implicit, and it's only true if the movie says so, I suppose. Still, the cinematography, the writing, and the directing were all well done. I don't know if Twohy created the concept, but he did some fairly original things with the premise, regardless. Riddick does have the potential to build a series around; obviously, Vin Diesel now has more crossover appeal than he did when 'Pitch Black' was released two years ago. I wonder if he's starting to get pigeonholed. 'Boiler Room' and 'Pitch Black' came out simultaneously, and Diesel reportedly chose the former so that "people would see him without a tanktop." Since then, he's done 'The Fast and the Furious' and 'xXx.' His career choices are not a particular concern of mine, but you hate to see an up-and-coming actor resigned to the same type of picture for the rest of their careers.

  • June 19, 2002, 2:06 p.m. CST

    by BruceL

    The first script, created by Jim and Ken Wheat, apparently discussed a lot of the science stuff more, including the ecology of the predators and all that. You can read about what got cut here: http://www.pitcherblacker.com/features/wheatscript/ *********** And as for Vin Diesel getting pigeonholed... well, he can always just say NO. He got paid 2 mil for TFATF and 10 mil for XXX. I'm sure if he wanted to he could go off and do independent movies for the rest of his life and live pretty comfortably with that couple million bucks in the bank.

  • June 19, 2002, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Yeesh. Cynic much?

    by WizardX

    Now, I suppose I should mention that I really dug Pitch Black. There will ALWAYS be that sort of monster movie being made, and Twohy did it with more style and intelligence than most, even if the premise was a bit evolutionarily questionable. The basic idea we've got here - and might I point out that we have NO idea as far as the actual plot - has loads of potential. It's been a long time since this sort of anti-hero epic has been done, and setting it in space would be a novel twist. If he can expand on the material and make it truly epic, not just a series of pulp adventures, with more expansion of the Riddick character, this could be REALLY good. But, at least, hold off on trashing the movie until we have some idea what the actual plot is. And might I remind anyone who's forgotten (since it hasn't come up yet) Twohy also did The Arrival, which was also a very sharp updating of an older sci-fi plot idea. Give him a real budget and room to work, and I think that he could do great things.

  • June 19, 2002, 2:59 p.m. CST

    HA-4

    by LeeScoresby

    "why should we care of riddick?.. Comment: we should we even care for V.D? the first installement was so-so. it wasn't revolutionary or anything..this sucks!, is cinema totaly dead or what?" Judging from your post, I'd say you should quit worrying about the cinema and start worrying about your english teachers.

  • June 19, 2002, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Great. Another bad ass, tough guy, soulless anti-hero. Just like

    by Aquafresh

    Can't wait.

  • June 19, 2002, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Whatever happened to "Below?"

    by No. 41

    I thought that was in the can...it sounded like it had potential, a horror film on a sub, I like the idea...where is it??

  • June 20, 2002, 12:18 a.m. CST

    The Rhadha Mitchell character's name was "Fry"

    by Osmosis Jones

    Just like on Futurama! Anyhoo, Pitch Black was fuckin' awesome, and I'd LOVE to see more of Riddick's adventures busting heads and taking names. Only, will the little girl and/or Muslim guy (Keith David) be with him? "Shiv? No, this here's a personal groomin' device!"

  • June 20, 2002, 1:23 p.m. CST

    does anyone watch films on this site...

    by DrX

    or just bitch about em?

  • June 20, 2002, 4:02 p.m. CST

    The nocturnal creatures survive because most of the time they li

    by Lenny Nero

    We clear on that?

  • June 20, 2002, 11:11 p.m. CST

    by Auntikrist

  • June 20, 2002, 11:11 p.m. CST

    by Auntikrist

  • June 21, 2002, 12:55 a.m. CST

    Riddick

    by Code_Dogg

    i didnt think that pitch black was that good of movie th eonly thing that saved it was riddick. as long as its about him and they lose the whole pitch black scenario it should be a good copule of movies

  • June 21, 2002, 1:06 p.m. CST

    PB was forgettable

    by JECL

    I can't believe a sequel is being made of PB. Vin diesel is the worst piece of shit actor to come along since Freddie Prinze Jr. Really, did anyone really give a frack about the first one. The aliens were lame, the characters were lame, and vin diesels "badass" schtick is already tiresome.

  • June 27, 2002, midnight CST

    Riddick

    by The Merlin

    In PB, just before the fight between Johns and Riddick, Johns said " Battlefield medics kill people all of the time--it's called TRIAG." Riddick said: "Yeah, when I did it, they called it murder." Is Riddick ex-military? Rogue agent? Genetically altered killing machine that did his job too well? Your thoughts

  • June 29, 2002, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Got Jack?!

    by Jackiegirl5485

    I think Vin Diesel is a great actor and all and he played the shit out of his character Riddick, but I also liked Jack B. Badd Rhaina Griffith's character. I mean we know about the same amount of info on her as we do Riddick. I really want to know her story too. Jack was funny as hell. Anybody else agree? *_~

  • July 5, 2002, 6:17 p.m. CST

    I agree

    by ChibiRocketX

    I really liked Jack too, wasn't the actress in Minority Report. Or does she just remind me of every bald girl person? Interesting..But I reallydug Pitch Black. You guys can call it crap, shit, whatever. But let me remind you, it's not what you think. It's the movie execs. Dig?

  • July 31, 2002, 3:07 a.m. CST

    Just saw it for the first time....

    by twonkenn

    I loved it. A little slow at first, but I really liked Riddick. So long as the next films don't try to use the same formula. Too many sequels try to be too much like the first and end up suckking badly. The 'Anti-hero' theme is great. I think Riddick should reluctantly retain the Jack/Jackie character as a tag along sidekick. Just let him go up against a new threat.

  • Aug. 7, 2002, 2:18 a.m. CST

    yeah that movie was cool i thought

    by beanie monst

    as i write its on one of the cinemax channels on this brilliant invention called digital cable , the atmosphere on the movie , everything from the lighting to the action it's a good movie i liked it and still like it vin diesel is definitely a bad ass