The sci-fi action franchise which kicked off with the small budget film ‘Pitch Black’ in 2000 will continue with its leading man Vin Diesel returning for the second sequel. The long in development sequel was never a sure thing after the first sequel titled ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’ failed to receive favourable reviews generally and failed to deliver financial success within its theatrical run. Released in 2004 the film reportedly was made with a production budget of $120 million yet only managed to achieve approximately $107 million in worldwide gross.
This certainly put any plans for another film on hold, however over time with the enthusiasm of its leading man, as well as a small but dedicated fan base rumours of a new film never completely faded away and the second sequel is now a virtually a certainty. Some of the criticisms which revolved around ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’ included the switch from an ensemble cast to a leading man focus on Vin Diesel as well as the move from a straight forward sci-fi horror scenario to a grand scale space opera setting.
Universal Pictures have released both the title of the film which is to be ‘The Chronicles of Riddick: Dead Man Stalking’ as well as the official synopsis as follows;
The infamous Riddick has been left for dead on a sun-scorched planet that appears to be lifeless. Soon, however, he finds himself fighting for survival against alien predators more lethal than any human he’s encountered. The only way off is for Riddick to activate an emergency beacon and alert mercenaries who rapidly descend to the planet in search of their bounty.
The first ship to arrive carries a new breed of merc, more lethal and violent, while the second is captained by a man whose pursuit of Riddick is more personal. With time running out and a storm on the horizon that no one could survive, his hunters won’t leave the planet without Riddick’s head as their trophy.
From reading the synopsis the sense is that the new film will be looking to recapture some of the feel of the original ‘Pitch Black’, though still making use of some of the wider mythology fleshed out in the Chronicles. Whether this balance proves to be successful we’ll have to wait and see.
Universal have also announced that series regular director and writer David Twohy is returning in both capacities for the new film, as is previous cast member Karl Urban whom played Vaako in Chronicles. Principal photography for ‘Dead Man Stalking’ has begun in Montreal, the film is currently scheduled for a release during 2013.