Preview by: Jack Foley
THE Vin Diesel success story appears to have been hitting troubled
times, of late.
Having been set to take on the James Bond franchise with his
xXx persona, and having turned his back on The
Fast and the Furious sequels, everything seemed geared towards
making the actor one of the most highly-sought after action men
since Stallone and Schwarzenegger in their heyday.
A couple of years on, however, and Diesel has dropped out of
the xXx franchise, along with director,
Rob Cohen, and there is even talk of him returning to The Fast
and the Furious, for a possible third film in the series.
One thing has remained constant, however, and that is the determination
to stick with one of his favourite characters, the anti-hero,
Richard B Riddick.
The follow-up movie to sleeper hit, Pitch
Black, is due for release as part of the Summer blockbuster
season, and is still intended as the first in an epic trilogy.
Its called The Chronicles of Riddick and, if all goes to
plan, will mark the start of a sci-fi series to rival The
Lord of the Rings, with Pitch Black serving as a taster, rather
like The Hobbit.
Its an ambitious undertaking and, from its trailer alone,
suggests that there is still a long way to go.
The story picks up as Riddick, who has spent the past five years
on the move, among the forgotten worlds on the outskirts of the
galaxy, eluding mercenaries bent on collecting the price on his
head, finds himself on the planet, Helion, which is home to a
progressive, multi-cultural society that has been invaded by the
Lord Marshal, a despot who targets humans for subjugation with
his army of warriors, known as Necromongers.
Exiled to a subterranean prison, where extremes of temperature
range from arctic nights to volcanic days, Riddick encounters
Kyra, the lone survivor from an earlier chapter in his life.
His efforts to free himself and Kyra lead him to the Necromonger
command ship, where he is pitted against the Lord Marshal in an
apocalyptic battle with possibly the fate of all beings - both
living and dead - hanging in the balance.
Written and directed by David Twohy, The Chronicles of Riddick
is produced by Scott Kroopf and Vin Diesel, with Ted Field, George
Zakk and David Womark serving as executive producers.
In one of the more aspects to it, the film also stars 68-year-old
veteran, Dame Judi Dench, as an ethereal being known as Aeron.
Yet she leapt at the chance of playing in a sci-fi movie and
describes Diesel as absolutely charming, despite recently
speaking out about the ludicrous wage demands of certain actors.
The film is due to open in the States on ??? and will follow
in the UK on August ?. Needless to say, we will be keeping a keen
eye on its progress, having enjoyed Riddicks earlier endeavours,
in Pitch Black.