|The Chronicles of Riddick|
Theatrical release one-sheet
|Directed by||David Twohy|
|Produced by||Scott Kroopf, Vin Diesel|
|Written by||David Twohy|
|Music by||Graeme Revell|
|Editing by||Tracy Adams (director's cut)
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release date(s)||June 11, 2004|
|Running time||Theatrical Cut:
|Preceded by||Pitch Black|
|Followed by||The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury|
The Chronicles of Riddick is a 2004 American science fiction film. It follows the adventures of Richard B. Riddick, as he attempts to elude capture after the events depicted in the 2000 film Pitch Black, which details his meeting with Jack and Imam, his escape from the prison planet Crematoria, and his battle with the Necromonger fleet. It was directed by David Twohy, also the director of Pitch Black, and stars Vin Diesel (also co-producer), Karl Urban and Judi Dench, with Thandie Newton and Colm Feore. The critical and commercial response was mixed.
After the release of the film, The Chronicles of Riddick became the brand name of the series.
The film opens with a narrative, explaining the motives of the Necromongers, a race of conquerors traveling across space toward the Underverse, a dark mirror of the normal universe where death has no meaning. Their leader, the Lord Marshal (Colm Feore), commands his troops to overrun worlds and convert their inhabitants into Necromongers; those who oppose conversion are killed.
The story begins on the icy world of the planet U.V.6 where Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel) is evading bounty hunter Toombs (Nick Chinlund) and his crew. Toombs is trying to collect the 1.5 million bounty placed on Riddick's head. Riddick kills or disables all but Toombs and leaves the planet with their ship, setting a course for the planet Helion Prime, from which the bounty originated. In the Director's Cut, Riddick is plagued by visions from a character named Shirah (Kristin Lehman) during the flight, who tells Riddick he is the last of a warrior-race called the Furyans.
When Riddick lands on Helion Prime, he confronts Imam (Keith David) in the city of New Mecca, believing he is responsible for the bounty. Imam explains that he only gave information on Riddick's location to the one who placed the bounty. Imam also tells Riddick that Jack, the other survivor from Pitch Black, went looking for him several years earlier, missing his brother-like influence. She became a criminal and was sent to prison on the planet Crematoria. He introduces Aereon (Judi Dench), an envoy of the Elementals, who arranged for Riddick to be brought to Helion. She explains he is part of a prophecy that states a lone Furyan will one day challenge an unstoppable evil and bring balance back to the universe, and says the Necromongers are the ones the prophecy foretells.
Following this revelation, the Necromonger army attacks Helion Prime, wiping out the planet's defenses in one night. Imam is killed in the attack while protecting his family. An enraged Riddick heads to the city forum, where the Helion Prime leaders are gathered before the Necromongers and the Lord Marshal. He challenges and dispatches Imam's killer easily. Suspicious of his abilities, the Lord Marshal has Riddick taken into his fortress to confirm his identity. Placed before the psychic Quasi-Deads, who claim Riddick is a Furyan, the Lord Marshal orders his death. Riddick escapes, only to run into Toombs again. Toombs has hired a new crew. Riddick allows himself to be captured so he can be transported to Crematoria, a dead world where daytime surface temperatures scorch the face of the planet.
Riddick is reunited with Jack (Alexa Davalos), who now goes by the name of Kyra. She blames him for leaving her and Imam in New Mecca, but eventually they reconcile. Back on Helion Prime, the Lord Marshal commands Necromonger Commander Vaako (Karl Urban) to find Riddick and have him killed, so Vaako sets out with a small group of Necromongers and a Purifier (Linus Roache) to bring him down. Vaako is curious as to why the Lord Marshal is so afraid of Riddick. With encouragement from his rabidly ambitious wife, Dame Vaako (Thandie Newton), the two learn, before he achieved his current title, the Lord Marshal destroyed the Furyans' homeworld of Furya and its citizens. This occurred after a seer foretold that a male Furyan would cause his downfall. They deduce Riddick is the one in the prophecy.
When Toombs and his crew argue over Riddick's bounty with the prison warden and his guards, the warden reveals he has pictures of the incoming Necromongers, who have picked up the trail left behind by Toombs's ship. A gunfight erupts, with the staff emerging victorious. The warden and guards depart, running through man-made tunnels towards the ship hangar, locking the rest of prison down to prevent the inmates from escaping. Riddick, Kyra, and some of the inmates decide to reach the hanger first by traveling on the surface, surviving by keeping pace with the temperate zone created between the scorching heat and freezing cold of Crematoria's daily cycles. They reach the hangar, but Vaako and his contingent of soldiers have arrived on the planet, hastily taking out the warden and his guards. Riddick and company are forced to fight the Necromongers.
Amidst the numerous casualties, Vaako narrowly defeats Riddick. In the Director's Cut, Riddick suddenly manifests a powerful energy burst which knocks out both himself and most of the Necromongers. Vaako leaves Riddick for dead as the rising sun burns Crematoria's surface. Vaako and the surviving Necromongers make their escape, taking Kyra, who believes Riddick has perished. Riddick nearly burns to death, but is suddenly saved by the Purifier. He states the Lord Marshal has offered to spare Riddick's life in exchange for assurance that Riddick will not attempt to kill him; however, the Purifier goes on to say Vaako will likely claim Riddick's death, in fear of failure, leaving the Lord Marshal vulnerable. Before walking into the sunlight and his death, the Purifier reveals himself to also be a Furyan.
Vaako returns to the Legion Vast, where the Lord Marshal promotes him. Riddick flies Toombs's ship back to Helion Prime, intending to rescue Kyra. Not quite convinced of Riddick's death, the Lord Marshal orders the "Final Protocol", which will ultimately destroy all life on Helion Prime. Dame Vaako spots Riddick, who has infiltrated the mother ship. She suggests to her husband that he be allowed to fight the Lord Marshal, hopefully injuring him and allowing Vaako to deal the final blow so he may assume power, based on the Necromonger philosophy, "you keep what you kill." Riddick makes his way to the throne room, where he comes face to face with the Lord Marshal, who reveals Kyra has converted to their faith. After lamenting to himself that the Necromonger has killed everyone he loved, Riddick does battle with the Lord Marshal, whose unique powers prove too great for Riddick to handle.
Before the Lord Marshal can deliver the final blow, Kyra stabs him in the back, but he backhands her into a spike on a column, mortally wounding her. Vaako, sensing an opportunity to vanquish his superior and claim leadership, strikes out at the Lord Marshal, who narrowly escapes the blow. Riddick, however, has positioned himself where the Lord Marshall has retreated to, and stabs the Lord Marshal in the head, killing him.
Riddick turns to the mortally wounded Kyra, and she dies in his arms after telling Riddick that she was "always" with him. As he collapses with grief on the Necromonger throne, the Legion Vast kneel before him, and Riddick remains silent while Aereon ruminates on the irony of the situation. In the Director's Cut, the film abruptly ends with Riddick repeating the Necromonger adage "you keep what you kill," realizing he is the new leader of their empire. In the theatrical cut, the Necromonger fleet abruptly departs, sparing Helion Prime. The epilogue of the novel adaptation goes even further with Riddick ordering the Necromonger fleet to the Threshold, gateway to the Underverse.
|Vin Diesel||Richard B. Riddick|
|Colm Feore||Lord Marshal|
|Thandie Newton||Dame Vaako|
|Alexa Davalos||Jack / Kyra|
|Yorick van Wageningen||The Guv|
|Christina Cox||Eve Logan|
The Chronicles of Riddick received poor reviews from film critics, receiving a 30% Fresh rating with an average score of 4.7/10 on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes and an average 38/100 score on MetaCritic. Domestically the film was a box office disappointment ($57 million), though its total global box office take was $115 million.
The film spun off books, animation and video games. The Xbox game The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, later ported to the PC, released simultaneously with the film was well received  as was the animated short film The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury by Æon Flux director Peter Chung. The Unrated Director's Cut DVD (featuring scenes which were cut in order to obtain a PG-13 rating) was released on November 16, 2004 and sold 1.5 million copies on the first day alone. On April 7, 2009, a remake of the video game including an expansion was released on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC under the title The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena.
In a March 8, 2006, article on Comingsoon.net, it was reported that Vin Diesel claimed that a sequel to The Chronicles of Riddick was in the works. According to him, he had already written a storyline that covered a trilogy which began with the Chronicles of Riddick. Another article on Comingsoon.net, written on March 11, 2005, reports that Vin Diesel states that Chronicles 2 was to deal with The Underverse, while Chronicles 3 was to conclude the series with a return to Furya.
An article dated November 10, 2007, on countingdown.com, further indicates that a sequel may be in works - "We're talking about it". David Twohy indicates however that it "probably won't be a Universal movie and probably will be an independent movie" seeing a much smaller budget.
Two more sequels have been confirmed for production, and David Twohy is now writing the scripts. Diesel told MTV News that in spite of the poor reception, the time between the sequels is only about getting it right, not about trying to find support.
"Everyone knows I love the Riddick character and I’m always working on it,” Diesel asserted. “It just takes five years to make another one because David Twohy and I are so precise about it.”
On March 20, 2009, Vin Diesel commented on a sequel in an interview on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, stating that David Twohy has nearly finished scripts, and is planning to start production on the third film in early 2010.
On November 30, 2009 Vin Diesel left an update on his Facebook page effectively announcing that pre-production work is underway on the Chronicles of Riddick sequel.
On February 9th, 2010, Vin Diesel confirmed in an update on his Facebook page that one of the locations used in the upcoming sequel would be the White Desert in Farafra, Egypt. He mentioned the terrain features unique to the area would lend to the off-planet atmosphere of the film.