The Chronicles of Riddick (franchise)

Last updated

The Chronicles of Riddick
Riddick logo.jpg
Official franchise logo
Created by David Twohy
Wheat Brothers
Original work Pitch Black
Owner Universal Pictures
Print publications
Novel(s) Novels
Films and television
Film(s) Films
Short film(s) Shorts films
Television series Television
Video game(s) Video games

The Chronicles of Riddick is a science fiction action space Western [1] media franchise created in 2000 by brothers Ken and Jim Wheat and later continued by writer-director 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 and brothers Ken and Jim Wheat from a story devised by the latter brothers. Since then Twohy has solely 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 films. The story involves Riddick being transported to prison on the Hunter Gratzner, a commercial cargo spaceship. When the craft 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 on release but has been reappraised by many and today is considered a cult classic.[ citation needed ]

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 film, 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 was not received as well as the first film in the franchise, but the release of a director's cut DVD is generally considered to be a slight improvement and received strong sales.[ citation needed ]

Riddick (2013)

Encouraged by high DVD sales and Vin Diesel's newly restored box office success, David Twohy wrote a script for a third film in the Riddick series. [2] [3] [4] 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 . [5] Katee Sackhoff and Matt Nable also joined the cast of the film. [6] Reviews were mixed, but it was considered a moderate success at the box-office and an improvement over the previous film.

Riddick 4: Furya (TBA)

In January 2014, Diesel announced on his Facebook page that Universal wishes to develop a fourth Riddick film, again prompted by robust DVD sales of the most recent film in the series. [7] They were looking into Media Rights Capital or Legendary Pictures to co-finance it. Diesel announced on his Facebook page that the fourth film is titled Furya and will have an R rating. [8]

In April 2016, Vin Diesel confirmed that he and writer-director David Twohy were developing a fourth Riddick movie titled The Chronicles of Riddick: Furya. In May 2016, he explained that production on The Chronicles of Riddick: Furya may begin in early 2017. In a video, Vin Diesel asked: "Are you guys excited to hear about Furya? Do you want to know where it all began with that dark character Riddick?". David Twohy confirmed that the new film would be rated R. [9] On 21 July 2019, Diesel announced on his Instagram that he had received Twohy’s script for Riddick 4: Furya.

Short films

The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury (2004)

Dark Fury , a made-for-DVD animated film, acts as a bridge between the live-action films of Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick. It takes place shortly after Pitch Black and involves Riddick and the other two survivors of Pitch Black, Jack and Imam, and their run-in with a mercenary ship, as well as its captain who wishes to keep Riddick frozen as part of her collection of warriors from around the universe. It received mixed reviews.

Video games

The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (2004)

Escape from Butcher Bay is a video game based on the Riddick series, released for the Xbox and Windows PC. It acts as a prequel to Pitch Black, and involves Riddick's escape from the eponymous prison, Butcher Bay. The game was very well received and it is often listed among "the greatest Xbox games of all time".

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (2009)

Assault on Dark Athena is a video game for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, and Mac OS X computers. It includes an enhanced remake of Escape from Butcher Bay, and covers events between the previous game and Pitch Black. Reviews were mostly positive.

Riddick: The Merc Files (2013)

Riddick: The Merc Files is a touch-based stealth action game for Android and iOS devices. It was developed by Gaming Corps, a game developer founded by some of the original developers of the previous Riddick games. [10]


Into Pitch Black (2000)

Into Pitch Black is a Sci-Fi channel special which aired before Pitch Black, and was about lawmen investigating Riddick's past as well as an investigation into the crash of The Hunter Gratzner. It shows several inconsistencies with the official storyline of the other films and video games. There are five different sequences, that of the investigator, a psychiatrist evaluating Riddick, the alleged doctor who gave Riddick his trademark eyeshine, the team that investigated the disappearance of the Hunter-Gratzner, as well as various clips of the actual movie Pitch Black.


In June 2004, David Twohy announced that he was writing the story basis for a Syfy television film/pilot episode for a proposed television series based on the Riddick character Kyra. [11]

In December 2015, Diesel announced on his Instagram account that both he and Twohy developed a TV series titled Merc City that will follow the Mercs and Bounty Hunters of the Riddick franchise. [12]


Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick have received novelizations of their scripts, by Frank Lauria and Alan Dean Foster respectively. These expand on elements of the films, most notably Pitch Black providing character backstory for Riddick and The Chronicles of Riddick describing the Necromongers and their religion in greater detail.

Motion comics

Pitch Black: Slam City (2000)

Pitch Black: Slam City is a short motion comic prequel to Pitch Black by animator Brian Murray with David Twohy which had been available for download at the Pitch Black website. Slam City is in the form of an official, confidential prison record detailing Riddick's arrival and escape from the Ursa Luna Slam City facility, in eleven hours and twenty-two minutes. Notably, it shows Riddick undergoing the surgery that gives him "eyeshine" — the ability to see in the dark — and paying for this with a pack of Kool cigarettes, as mentioned in Pitch Black. William J. Johns is seen at the end of the film being charged with capturing Riddick.

Riddick: Blindsided (2013)

Riddick: Blindsided is a motion comic based on storyboarded scenes [13] of the third film that didn't make the theatrical cut. It takes place shortly before the events of Riddick and bridges that film with the previous one. The director's cut of Riddick reinserts most of the material covered in Blindsided back into the film. It was released online [14] a month before the release of the third film to generate buzz [15] and it is also included with the movie's home video release. [16]

Cast and crew


Pitch Black The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury The Chronicles of Riddick Riddick
Richard B. Riddick Vin Diesel
Jack B. Badd / Kyra Rhiana Griffith Alexa Davalos
Abu "Imam" al-Walid Keith David
Carolyn Fry Radha Mitchell
William J. Johns Cole Hauser
Paris P. Ogilvie Lewis Fitz-Gerald
Sharon "Shazza" Montgomery Claudia Black
John "Zeke" EzekielJohn Moore
Greg Owens Simon Burke
Alexander Toombs Nick Chinlund
Junner Roger L. Jackson
Antonia Chillingsworth Tress MacNeille
Siberius Vaako Karl Urban
Zhylaw / Lord Marshal Colm Feore
Aereon Judi Dench
Dame Vaako Thandiwe Newton
Purifier Linus Roache
The Guv Yorick van Wageningen
Lajjun Kim Hawthorne
Eve Logan Christina Cox
Colonel R. "Boss" Johns Matthew Nable
Santana Jordi Mollà
Dahl Katee Sackhoff
Diaz Dave Bautista
Moss Bokeem Woodbine
Lockspur Raoul Trujillo
Vargas Conrad Pla
Luna Nolan Gerard Funk
KroneAndreas Apergis


Pitch Black The Chronicles of Riddick Riddick Riddick 4: Furya
Director David Twohy
Producer(s)Tom Engelman Vin Diesel & Scott Kroopf Ted Field, Vin Diesel & Samantha VincentTBA
Writer(s) Ken Wheats, Jim Wheats & David TwohyDavid Twohy
Composer(s) Graeme Revell TBA
Cinematographer(s) David Eggby Hugh Johnson David EggbyTBA
Editor(s)Rick ShaneTracy Adams, Martin Hunter & Dennis Virkler Tracy AdamsTBA
Production company(s) Gramercy Pictures
Interscope Communications
Polygram Filmed Entertainment
Radar Pictures
One Race Films
Distributor USA Films Universal Pictures
Runtime109 minutes135 minutes119 minutesTBA
Release dateFebruary 18, 2000June 11, 2004September 6, 2013TBA



Box office performance

FilmRelease dateBox office grossProduction budgetReference
North AmericaOther territoriesWorldwide
Pitch BlackFebruary 18, 2000$39,240,659$13,947,000$53,187,659$23 million [18]
The Chronicles of RiddickJune 11, 2004$57,761,012$58,011,721$115,772,733$105 million [19]
RiddickSeptember 6, 2013$42,025,135$56,312,160$98,337,295$38 million [20]
Total$139,026,806$128,270,881$267,297,687$166 million [21]

Critical and public response

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Pitch Black59% (109 reviews) [22] 49 (29 reviews) [23]
The Chronicles of Riddick29% (165 reviews) [24] 38 (34 reviews) [25] B [26]
Riddick57% (168 reviews) [27] 49 (35 reviews) [28] B [26]

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