The Chronicles of Riddick, also simply called Riddick, is a science fiction action horror media franchise created in 2000 by David Twohy spanning three live-action feature films, a direct-to-DVD animated film, two video games for PC and consoles, one motion comic, one mobile game, and two novelizations.
The series follows the adventures of antihero character Riddick (either portrayed or voiced by Vin Diesel) in the 28th century. The Chronicles of Riddick fictional universe was initially created with the release of Pitch Black, which was written by director Twohy, Ken Wheat, and his brother Jim Wheat. Since then Twohy has written and directed the two live action sequels and was involved in the development of the storyline of a number of the franchise’s offshoots.
Pitch Black (2000)
The first installment of the franchise, Pitch Black, was a lower budget production compared to the later ones. The story involved Riddick being transported to prison on the Hunter Gratzner, a commercial cargo ship. When the spaceship is damaged in the wake of a comet and makes an emergency crash landing on an isolated desert planet, Riddick escapes. However, when flying creatures begin attacking all the survivors, Riddick joins forces with the others to escape the planet. After the release of the sequel titled The Chronicles of Riddick, in the hopes of building a franchise, this film has often been referred to as The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black in subsequent home video re-releases. It received mixed reviews but today is considered a cult classic.
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
The second feature film in the series, The Chronicles of Riddick was a considerably more expensive production and was more action oriented than its predecessor. It takes place five years after Pitch Black and involved Riddick’s meeting with Jack and Imam, survivors from the first movie, his escape from the prison planet Crematoria, and his battle with the Necromonger fleet, which ended with the defeat of the Lord Marshal and Riddick taking his place. Critically it wasn’t received as well as the first movie in the franchise, but the release of a director’s cut DVD received strong sales and a cult following.
Encouraged by high DVD sales and Vin Diesel’s newly restored box office success, David Twohy wrote a script for a third movie in the Riddick series. The film was produced by Media Rights Capital and distributed by Universal, and was released on September 6, 2013. Karl Urban returned to reprise his role as Vaako from The Chronicles of Riddick. Katee Sackhoff and Matt Nable also joined the cast of the film. Reviews were mixed, but it was considered an improvement over the previous film.
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First Published: May 5, 2012 – Last Updated: Apr 4, 2014