Vin Diesel is of course now best known as the head of the family in the Fast and Furious movies. But he has another passion project that almost caused him to leave the Fast franchise at one stage. The Riddick movies are dark science fiction films that Diesel starred in, beginning with Pitch Black in 2000. They’ve now been added to Netflix, and all three are currently in the Top Ten.
Diesel followed by Pitch Black with The Chronicles of Riddick in 2004. Almost a decade later, Riddick was released. All three movies are written (or co-written) and directed by David Twohy. Riddick is a criminal and anti-hero who is forced to battle his way off various hostile planets. Riddick’s eyes have been surgically altered so he can see in the dark.
A fourth movie, called Riddick: Furya is currently in development. The movies are clearly still popular, given how well they’re doing on Netflix. Since the last Riddick movie was released, Mad Max: Fury Road came out, which has a similar dark tone, and an anti-hero at the centre. Fury Road was nominated for Best Picture, as was Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. “Elevated” sci-fi is seeing a resurgence in popularity.
Pitch Black made around $50 million, The Chronicles of Riddick made $115 million, and Riddick made almost $100 million. They aren’t exactly in the same league as the Fast and Furious movies, in terms of box office takings. Furious 7 (2015) is the 11th highest grossing movie of all time, and it made over $1.5 billion. The Fate of the Furious (2017) is also in the Top 25 highest grossers ever, with $1.2 billion.
Karl Urban – who has starred in pretty much every franchise – had a significant role in two of the Riddick movies. He has appeared in Lord of the Rings, the Bourne movies, Doom, Dredd, Star Trek, Marvel, and has even played a Stormtrooper in Star Wars. The fact that he hasn’t rocked up in the Fast franchise yet is a big surprise.
Fast and Furious 10 will be released on May 19, 2023.