Vin Diesel suffers for his art. Back in the spring, the actor made a big show of announcing that he was going to deign to getting paid scale in order to get a new "Chronicles of Riddick" sequel off the ground, philosophically stating, "Money is always second to art, integrity and spirit" but wondering if he would be able "to momentarily venture to that dark place… called Riddick." Well, moral and ethical dilemmas aside, Diesel is moving forth and over the weekend he hit his Facebook page with a bit of an update.
Providing fans with some concept art and then explaining what that means, Diesel revealed: "The road to the R rating, that so many of you were vocal about, has been a long one. The advantage however, (never empower the negatives) was that we were allowed a really extensive preproduction. The art work is so good, the artists have really outdone themselves in illustrating this world at it's early stage. When this film comes to the screen... know that you willed it into being!" So taking away the spin he puts on the news, it appears that Universal haven't yet flipped the switch. And in a very curious edit to his post that has since been scrubbed, Diesel also mentioned, "I got two meetings today that I have been prepping for...one with the Director and another one with the head of the studio to discuss casting and the 2012 release date. Like always, I appreciate having your voice present in these meetings." Was his optimism for studio support and an imminent release misplaced and/or premature? Hmm....
Universal has been cancelling projects like crazy of late (“At The Mountains Of Madness,” “Memphis,” “In The Heights,” “The Dark Tower,” “Clue,” “Ouija,” "Wicked Lovely") are currently licking their wounds from a string of failures this year including "Your Highness," "The Change-Up" and most importantly "Cowboys & Aliens." The studio is going to need a lot of convincing to invest in a sequel to "The Chronicles Of Riddick," which barely made back it's $105 million budget with a $115 worldwide haul in 2004. Maybe they can add some cars and babes to this one? That said, Diesel is behind the studio's massive success "Fast Five" -- one of the biggest films financially this year -- so Diesel is likely getting a bit of special treatment. You gotta keep the star of your franchise happy. But can Diesel succeed where Guillermo Del Toro failed (part of the reason 'Madness' was bounced was due to the director's refusal to deliver a PG-13 cut)?
All this to say, does anyone care about this movie other than 4,000 or so people who commented on Diesel's post? Hollywood will forever try to revive dead franchises (please see "Ghostbusters 3") but we couldn't care less about another Riddick tale and we'd wager most audiences would agree. Diesel is arguably still a wild card outside the "Fast & Furious" movies and we think Universal would be wise on making sure that at the very least, the budget on another "Riddick" movie is reasonable before pressing ahead. Oh yeah, here's another piece of art Diesel revealed earlier this month. And here's his amazing Mother's Day post.