Let Us Get Our Tiny Violin: Vin Diesel Upset He's Being Paid Scale For 'Riddick' Sequel No One Wants

by Oliver Lyttelton
May 25, 2011 12:56 PM
9 Comments
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Film To Be R-Rated, Shoot This Summer



1999's "Pitch Black" was a nifty little sci-fi horror film: nothing special, but a solid genre entry, which used a decent cast, including Cole Hauser and Radha Mitchell, and in particular granite-voiced man mountain Vin Diesel, to good effect. The film made Diesel a star, and off the back of the success of "The Fast & The Furious," Universal took a gamble that the actor's breakout character in David Twohy's film, brutal convict Riddick, could be the star of his very own franchise, with 2004's "The Chronicles of Riddick."

Unfortunately, it was terrible, with deeply ropey CGI and some of the worst dialogue on record, lines that even Dame Judi Dench (in one of the most what-the-fuck pieces of casting of all time) couldn't sell, and the film tanked at the box office, seemingly killing the franchise. Or did it? Diesel's back on top again with a pair of hugely successful "Fast and the Furious" sequels, and the character lived on in a series of acclaimed, best-selling video games, and it was announced last year that a third film in the franchise, "Riddick," was in the works, with Diesel and Twohy both signing on to return.

Word's been quiet for a while now, but Diesel announced on his Facebook page (which has 24 million fans: who knew?) that the independently-financed project is moving forward, with writer-director Twohy telling him that the film will shoot in the summer. However, there's a downside for the star of the half-a-billlion-dollars-and-counting-grossing "Fast Five": he won't get paid his full fee. Diesel starts his post with "GRRRR" and goes on to continue "there is a catch... in order for us to make a true R-rated film, I must work for scale upfront. Not unlike the "Find Me Guilty" experience (which I wouldn't have changed for the world)..." Here's his full post:

GRRRR..

D T the writer/director just landed in New York with the good news. We can start filming this summer. However, there is a catch... in order for us to make a true R rated film, I must work for scale upfront. Not unlike the "Find me Guilty" experience (which I wouldn't have changed for the world)...

Money is always second to art, integrity and spirit... but the real issue is deeper. Can I suspend my life, to momentarily venture to that dark place... called Riddick.

Now, I need to hear from Our collective... you.

Wisdom and clarity appreciated.

Even putting aside the comparison of "Pitch Black 3" with a Sidney Lumet-helmed project, our heart doesn't quite bleed for the star: we're not sure that anyone bar Diesel and Twohy have a burning desire to see "Riddick," so you sort of feel sacrifices need to be made by a man who, considering how much he'll likely be paid for "Six Fast Six Furious," could probably finance the film from scratch himself. Although it does perhaps go some way to explain why Diesel's signed on to family action-comedy "The Machine," we suppose.

On a more serious note, Diesel adds "Money is always second to art, integrity and spirit... but the real issue is deeper. Can I suspend my life, to momentarily venture to that dark place... called Riddick." We're not Stanislavsky or anything, but we'd suggest to Diesel that, to stop himself from slipping into a Daniel Day-Lewis-style dark abyss of Method acting, he do what he did in the first two Riddick films, and play the character like a second-tier cast member from "Con Air" while growling all his lines. Anyway, barring any unseen disaster, "Riddick" will shoot later in the summer, and will likely hit theaters sometime in 2012. When it comes to unnecessary sequels to David Twohy films, we'd rather have follow-ups to underrated genre offerings "Below" or "A Perfect Getaway" instead. [via Coming Soon]

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9 Comments

  • Maurice Flores | May 26, 2011 9:44 AMReply

    I think I understand Vin Diesel's dilemma. He has had hefty salaries, and now he will be paid minimum wage for actors. However, if he truly loves his art and the character Riddick (who is a kick-ass character, truth be told one of my favourites), then he should proceed with the project. I believe there is a substantial fanbase for the Riddick movies. Go Vin, GO!

  • Jody | May 26, 2011 6:27 AMReply

    I would much rather see Vin Diesel in another "Riddick" movie, than to read another blog written by someone as asinine as the person that wrote this one.

  • Lix | May 26, 2011 6:17 AMReply

    Whoa, why all the hate for Chronicles of Riddick?! That movie was quite fantastic, and many people find the CGI and casting spot on. It gets a lot of hate for departing so far from Pitch Black, but the new path and character development of Riddick is well done.

    I for one am looking forward to a sequal.

  • leo | May 25, 2011 11:21 AMReply

    I understand how you feel being an A-list actor getting scale for a movie that may well do better than the first Riddick it can be careless and a misfotune if the movie gross more than expected.

    But I'am curious to see you as king and the battles you encounter as king and don't forget those killer eyes and nasty attitude. If you do decide to do it thanks in advance I really like Riddick you are the coolist thanks.

    A-FAN



    A fan

  • hank | May 25, 2011 8:41 AMReply

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  • sp | May 25, 2011 5:25 AMReply

    padre , I agree with you. It is important for A-list actors to be picky. After a while, he will not be able to rely on the box -office successes of ' Fast & The Furious ' films , so he truly needs quality films that will be part of his backup plan for a long movie career . You would think many of these actors would learn from the mistakes of their predecessors . It is not always about the big paydays.

  • padre | May 25, 2011 1:33 AMReply

    As one of the few action actors we have (that isn't also a senior citizen) I wish good things for Mr. Diesel. However, his jag into family comedies is ominous. This is what killed The Rock's career as an action star. Only many years later was his cred restored. IMO once an action lead loses his perceived edge and becomes cuddly and harmless in the public mind, he loses all appeal as an action lead. Vin is trading career longevity as an action star for a quick payday hit. Stupid move to me. After seeing how the The Rock's career went off the rails, there is really no excuse.

  • Kevin Jagernauth | May 25, 2011 1:18 AMReply

    Yeah, but what he isn't saying is that in exchange he probably has a healthy back-end percentage deal. Dude will get mad paid either way.

  • Edward Davis | May 25, 2011 1:17 AMReply

    Considering how much Fast Five made --#1 grossing film of the year so far -- I'd be pissed if i was getting scale for a movie too.

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