40 Things to Know About RIDDICK from Our Set Visit

     June 18, 2013

As a big fan of both Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick, I always hoped Vin Diesel would somehow find a way to get another sequel made.  But as the years passed and no sequel was announced, I figured the Riddick franchise was done with the exception of video games.

Thank you Fast and Furious fans.

With the popularity of the Fast and Furious franchise, Diesel was able to get Universal onboard with another sequel and unlike the last one that had to go PG-13 due to budget, Riddick is hitting theaters rated R!  In addition to the landing the rating the franchise needs, since Diesel and writer-director David Twohy made the film for a lean budget, they have creative control and what you’ll see in theaters this September should be exactly what they set out to make.  As a fan of the franchise and character, I’m so happy this all came together.  When the movie was shooting in Montreal last year, I got to visit the set with a few other reporters and put together a list of forty things to know about the film.  Hit the jump for more.

Before going any further, if you haven’t yet seen the trailer, I’d watch that first:


riddick-poster40 Things to Know About Riddick:

  • They went into Chronicles of Riddick thinking they were going to make an R-rated film, but when the budget went up the studio said they had to make it PG-13.
  • When the film begins, you think you’re going to be in the Underverse leading a huge army, but very quickly you realize that Riddick and the main characters are fighting for their lives again, left for dead on a planet.
  • Diesel turned down 2 Fast 2 Furious in order to write Chronicles of Riddick.
  • Diesel didn’t try to go “bigger and better” with the film’s action, he just wanted it to be an honest continuation of the story.
  • In order to get their R-rating and a certain amount of creative freedom, Diesel agreed to make the movie for scale and went “bare bones” with the filmmaking this time around.
  • Diesel wanted to wait to make the sequel with David Twohy directing instead of moving forward sooner with someone else.
  • According to Diesel, Riddick will reveal a David Twohy that we’ve never seen before and it’s going to “blow people away.”
  • Diesel’s preparation process for Riddick involved going away to the woods for five months before filming begins in order to get into the isolation mindset.
  • There are plans for more video game tie-ins to Riddick, in which Diesel is heavily involved.  The video game deals with the mercenary world.
  • Two further sequels are planned after Riddick, in which the story will move to the Underverse and Furya.
  • Riddick is more Pitch Black in the way it’s about the actors and less about spaceships.
  • The film is loaded with practical sets and effects, but everything will be amplified with CG.
  • Riddick is filming on four stages and using 15 sets.
  • The film will feature some flashback sequences which help explain what happened from the last film to where Riddick is now.
  • The costume department located some costumes from the last film in Europe and brought them in and gave them a weathered and rusty look.
  • Twohy says that Chronicles was made with a lot of studio input, and so when it came time to make Riddick on a much smaller budget, he and Diesel opted for more creative freedom.
  • riddick-vin-dieselWith Riddick, the team was concerned with paying off the loyal fans. They didn’t add things in the film that would help people who haven’t seen the other two movies understand the story better.
  • Riddick plays in a gratifying way as a standalone movie, but there are also threads from Pitch Black and Chronicles that they continue and they have sewed in threads for future movies.
  • Diesel and Twohy sat down and asked themselves how many more stories they could tell with the character before it started to run out of steam, and they settled on two more movies after Riddick.
  • There are around 850-900 visual effects shots in the film.
  • Twohy shot the film on digital using the ARRI Alexa camera.
  • At it’s core, Twohy says Riddick is a Jeremiah Johnson-like survival movie.
  • Karl Urban’s character returns in order to advance the film’s mythology and lay the groundwork for the next film.
  • The Riddick sequel would demand a bigger budget because it centers on the battle of Underverse.
  • The plan is for the odd numbered films in the series to be smaller scale, while the even numbered films will be larger in scope.
  • Riddick was shot in 49 days and the budget is around 40 million.
  • Whenever the camera is close to the actors, Twohy uses puppet pieces for the creatures, but when it’s a mid or wide shot he uses CG.
  • Katee Sackhoff’s character is the sniper of the group and she carries an electrical current gun.
  • Sackhoff came up with the backstory for her character herself.
  • katee-sackhoff-riddick-imageSackhoff describes Dahl as “the toughest, most deadly” character she’s ever played.
  • Diesel and Twohy hadn’t seen Battlestar Galactica when they cast Sakchoff.
  • Sackhoff thinks part of the reason she landed the role was because she brought a lot of sci-fi fans with her from BSG and she was also well-versed in the physical stuff, so she wouldn’t need a lot of training.
  • Sackhoff had been in the mix for the female lead in the film for a while, but the reason she won the role is because when Diesel and the casting director called at 10:30pm for her to come to Diesel’s house and read for them, she got out of bed and showed up.
  • After realizing everyone in the cast was physically big, Sackhoff trained by gaining 10 pounds of muscle and ate a lot.
  • The planet in Riddick is never explicitly identified.
  • They tried to use more warmer colors in Riddick in order to give the film a different look from Chronicles and Pitch Black.
  • There was originally an entirely CG-created character in the film, but it proved too costly to include.
  • David Bautista’s character is the “misfit” of the group.
  • Bautista’s character has a 75-round clip in his gun that’s big and loud, which mirrors his physical attributes.
  • Bautista studied the fight between Diesel and Dwayne Johnson in Fast Five in order to prepare for Riddick.
  • Bautista’s character has some one-liners in the film to bring some levity to the world of Riddick.

Riddick gets released September 6th.  For more from our set visit:



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