After the $100 million-plus The Chronicles of Riddick proved a box office disappointment in 2004, director David Twohy was happy to return to the low-budget roots of the franchise-starting Pitch Black. ”We weren’t a studio movie,” he explains. ”We didn’t focus-group it to death.” (The independently financed threequel is being distributed by Universal, which also oversees star Vin Diesel’s ascendant Fast & Furious series.) In the hard-R Riddick, Diesel’s titular galactic antihero with the night-vision eyes is once again marooned on a wasteland planet, fighting for his life against creatures that lurk in the dark. This time around, he’s also facing off against a crew of bounty hunters, including Katee Sackhoff, returning to the space-badass milieu of Battlestar Galactica.
For Diesel, reprising such a dark role was both a thrill and a challenge. ”Riddick is a very extreme person,” he deadpans, explaining that he ”went to the woods for about four months and centered before playing this character. That antisocial demeanor is something I have to work with. I’m much more prone to being, ‘I love you!”’ Spoiler alert: There won’t be many hugs in Riddick.