I truly have no idea what to make of the upcoming, as of yet untitled film that continues the story of Richard Riddick. Pitch Black was an unexpected joy, a clever, innovative blend of sci-fi tropes, with a fantastic, brutal, bloodthirsty character tied into it. Part of its appeal was its sense of scale - an intergalactic adventure that nonetheless took place on a small swath of land on an unknown planet, with a curious band of misfits and no external characters. Simply the stranded passengers of the Hunter Gratzner, the monsters… and Riddick.
Unfortunately, The Chronicles Of Riddick was a massive failure in storytelling. Instead of simply continuing the adventures of a semi-reformed killer, it instead opted for a massive, sweeping space opera complete with new mythologies and universes, and it crashed and burned horribly. When one thinks of the best moments of that film, they’re all the smaller pieces — Riddick facing off against the mercs, his capture, his jailbreak with Jack (which was another poor choice for character direction — not to mention a poor actress choice). His verbal sparring with Toombs (“look at you - all back of the bus and shit), the smaller moments that were reminders of the scale of the first film - those were what worked. But the space opera, the fucking “necromorphs,” all of that? Nonsensical blather, a study in excessive, self-indulgent genre word salads.
So here we are with news about the next film, which will once again see Riddick stranded on a far-off planet. I like the direction they’re going, and we’ve already seen some new creature design. I’m happy simply to know that there are creatures. What’s interesting is that the film will be a sequel to The Chronicles Of Riddick, but will be more tonally in line with Pitch Black. That seems a tall order given how totally out there Chronicles was, and how far from the relatively simple roots of Pitch Black it was, but it appears that director David Twohy has found a way. In a recent Moviehole article, they posted some new intriguing new information. Here’s the big long plot synopsis:
After a brief introduction in which were reunited with Riddick, surrounded by monsters, on a barren planet… we flash back to how Riddick ended up there. We meet LORD MARSHAL Riddick. Nobody much likes that Riddick’s royalty now (he loves it; he gets to screw hot chicks) - as evident by the assassins that try and take him out at any and every opportunity - especially the necromancers, who are dead against the anointment of a furyan as a leader. In exchange for the title, Riddick’s reluctant right-hand man and necro Vaako (Karl Urban’s character from the previous film; Urban will likely do it since the character is only in it for a short while) agrees to drop Riddick off at his home, Furya.
One thing leads to another and, much like the first film, Riddick finds himself stranded on a monster-infested planet. Instead of it leading to a rescue mission, his distress beacon catches the attention of a couple of merc teams (it would seem Vaako had dispatched them to kill Riddick while he’s isolated; not entirely true) who go after him with ill intentions.
One of the teams is lead by someone connected to an old enemy… someone from “Pitch Black”.
DUN DUN DUNNNN
Click here for the (potentially spoilerish) details.