For a guy that’s best known for sticking to the shadows, Vin Diesel’s Richard B. Riddick just couldn’t resist taking the spotlight for a little while at Comic-Con this weekend past. The bright-eyed and not-so-bushy tailed anti-hero got his own panel focusing on the upcoming 3rd film in Diesel and writer/director David Twohy’s sci-fi franchise. And not only did they bring along a friend, in the form of BSG’s Katee Sackhoff, for some Q&A, but they also debuted a brand new, rather violent Red Band trailer for the film.
First up that trailer, which unlike like the last “Red Band” trailer, actually lives up to its primary coloured endorsement.
Well, that’s one definition of a splitting headache. I have to admit, as kickass as that trailer is, it might just be a little bit spoilery. Unless Jordi Molla has a much smaller part than I’ve been led to believe, and is actually just a glorified red-shirt, in which case, carry on kicking machetes into people’s brains, Riddick!
And if you’re just here for the cinematic violence, then maybe you should check out now, as we’re now onto the part of this article where people talk about things!
Twohy revealed to the panel audience that it was 13 years ago when he showed up at Comic-Con with an unknown movie called Pitch Black, starring a relatively unknown actor called Vin Diesel, and now they were back with their very own panel for a third film. He also described how he and Diesel came up with the story for this third film in Diesel’s kitchen, knowing that this would probably have to be an indie film and not a big budget studio production.
“We finally settled in on a survival story — we knew we wouldn’t have all the money in the world, so we thought that was the way to go.”
Strangely enough, normally filmmakers try to make their film as family friendly as possible so as to get easier funding, but it was actually the reverse for Riddick.
“When the audience asked for this movie to be rated R, it helped get the movie made, because we didn’t have to spend $200 million to make the movie. It maintains the tempo and style of Pitch Black, yet it still services the mythology.”
Sackhoff, who’s no stranger to fanatical fans thanks to her role as Starbuck in Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica, added how it was the fans’ devotion to the Riddick films, despite the box-office flop of Chronicles of Riddick nine years ago, that kept the character alive.
“Science fiction fans are the most loyal fans in the world — they watch things that you should give them their money back for.”
She also revealed that it was her own fandom that made her actively pursue landing this gig.
“I’ve been a fan of Pitch Black and Vin since the beginning, so when this came up i was like, ‘What do I need to do to be in this?'”
She went on to say she likes that her character, Doll, is funny and ironic but also “unapologetic and without vulnerability” with “a hurt inside her that’s incredibly dark.” She also enjoyed all the opportunities for gunplay that character brought her, adding that her character had biggest gun.
Twohy also spoke a bit about Sackhoff’s character, a mercenary who starts off trying to hunt Riddick, but then realizes that there are far more dangerous things out there. He and Sackhoff apparently worked out quite the backstory for her, despite the fact that we won’t really be seeing it on-screen. Twohy then showed off a video montage, demonstrating Doll’s badassness through her skill with a sniper rifle.
As some of you may know, Diesel was famously quite a Dungeons & Dragons geek when he was younger, and he revealed how tabletop roleplaying actually helped him in his acting career.
“D&D was a training ground for me. It was this wonderful game before there was anything online. We would all act out these characters we were playing, and it didn’t take more than an a couple of hours before you really believed you were this witch hunter.”
Though he had all that experience casting magic missiles, doing 1+4d damage to his buddies, Diesel admits that there are some parts of all this make-believe that’s still a bit of a struggle for him.
“Nothing comes easy when I’m in character, because I take everything so seriously when I’m in character. What’s inside Riddick is so scary, that now that I have kids, there’s a part of me that feels guilty for having such a darkness in that character. I go ‘That wasn’t cool! You shouldn’t kill that guy!’”
No, trust me, Mr Diesel. It was actually rather cool when you killed that guy. The panel then essentially wrapped up, but not before two additional moments. The first, when an audience member asked Diesel about his involvement with Marvel, specifically asking what his vision (placing emphasis on the word; the same name as the Marvel character that Diesel is rumoured to play) for the upcoming movies would be, at which point Diesel answered grinned and grimaced before answering:
“He asked the one question I am not supposed to say anything about … poor Marvel. Big news coming at the end of this month!”
Seeing as what we heard from Marvel Exec Kevin Feige yesterday, I think Diesel’s estimates may have been a bit optimistic though.
Lastly though, there was one really cool portion right at the end of the panel, as Diesel got his very own action-movie Jedi moment, when a visibly nervous young fan in the crowd asked Diesel how he could become more badass. Diesel then sagely responded:
“I am seeing a level of badassery growing in you as you speak — continue on your journey to being a badass!”
Well played, Vin Diesel. Well played.
Riddick will be taking on the dark on September 6, 2013.
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.
Last Updated: July 23, 2013