In March of 2012, we landed in chilly Montreal, Quebec to meet a hero who’s cold as ice: Riddick. The lone wolf Furyan first introduced in 2000’s small-scale horror flick Pitch Black got his own roided-out big budget follow-up in the form of 2004’s The Chronicles of Riddick, but that movie’s box office failure nearly sealed his doom.
Like a badass phoenix, Riddick rose from movie purgatory, thanks to the persistence of star Vin Diesel and director David Twohy, and the enthusiasm of everyone we interviewed on the set of the third movie Riddick was undeniable. This new film strands Riddick on yet another hostile planet, this time with two different groups of mercenaries after his head. Boss Johns (Matt Nable) wants some information from that head, while Santana (Jordi Mollà) just wants Riddick’s cueball noggin in a box. Then the monsters attack.
You can read our more extensive set visit report on ComingSoon.net, but here are 9 of our favorite quotes from cast and crew during the set visit.
Vin Diesel on what makes the murderous Riddick so damn lovable
I enjoy playing a quintessential antihero. When I first read the Riddick character I felt like I’d stumbled on an antihero I hadn’t seen to the point where there’s something therapeutic about playing the character. That simple reality of not knowing where you came from is such an integral part of being a Furyan and playing with this identity on a grand scale. The whole fun “The Chronicles of Riddick” is playing with is one perception is I was dumped behind the liquor store trashbin and what is my real identity and purpose.
Director David Twohy on why he and Diesel pursued another entry even after the failure of the last film
It’s a pride thing, sure, but it’s also because we do hear from the fans. I’ve been involved in some pretty big movies, “The Fugitive” and whatnot, but when I hear from the fans it’s about Riddick and those movies and wanting more and then Vin has got that big ass Facebook page and when he polls them it comes up Riddick for him too. When he says things likevery leading questions like, “What would you like to see me in next, ‘XXX’ or another film?” They like their “Fast,” but I think there is a hardcore fan base for Riddick too. He knows that. So as much as anything it is a response to the fans and they have not shut up after nine years.
Katee Sackhoff on the movie’s female appeal
Oh I would see this film for Dave Batista’s abs. Purely. You couldn’t get cuter men in a room if that’s why women want to go see a movie. I find that in the science fiction world that you have almost more women fans than male fans and I think it’s because – not so much now, but for the last ten years – there’s been such a shortage of strong female characters. In the 80’s there were a handful of really strong ones where you’re like, ‘Okay. I want to be that person.’ And there was kind of a shortage and in the 90’s we got a little but more. But in the last five or ten years I guess there really haven’t been that many. So when you do have one it’s kind of like women flock, because there’s not a ton. So I kind of hope that’s why they see the movie. And if that fails, some of the boys will just have to take their clothes off.
Dave Batista on ditching wrestling to tussle with Riddick
I had come out of wrestling. I was a professional wrestler for 10 years and I had done another project with Universal and wasn’t really sure what I was going to do as far as pursuing film or if I was going back to wrestling or possibly an MMA career. But anyway, I heard through a friend that they were going to be casting for this, and so I begged and pleaded for an audition. I went and auditioned and then just waited to hear back. I literally pushed everything aside and held out for this movie, because I was such a fan of “Pitch Black.”
Matt Nable on his character Boss Johns’ beef with the Furyan
When we arrive on the planet theres a bounty out on Riddick, and my character Boss Johns has a fairly decisive sort of motive for appearing and going after Riddick. And certainly the crew Im with are a much more professional type of unit, an elite group of mercenaries compared with the other guys. We’re not necessarily there to collect bounty, were on there to find out some information about my son, which was Little Johns [Cole Hauser], who was killed in the first “Pitch Black.” I dont know what happened to him, so Ive been sitting on this for 10 years and so my motive is very, very different from Jordi Mollà’s group.
Conrad Pla on playing a merc with a mouth
My character is one of the older ones in the group. I’ve been 17 years in the merc business, I think, 12 years with Santana [Mollà]. Basically, I’m superstitious and I’ve been sort of in the middle of the pack. I know not to go in front and I know not to go in back, and I sort of stay out of trouble. I’m very superstitous. I’ve heard a lot of the lore of Riddick, so I’m kind of the warning bell of what’s to come and what might come and what he did in the past, referring back to “Pitch Black” and “Chronicles.” I sort of bring that into the story. There are a couple of characters that aren’t here today that don’t buy it and pay the price.
Raoul Trujillo on those cool-ass jet bikes
I think some of the most fun we havent done all of it yet; Ive done a little bit of it, but its what we call the hogs, which are like these Harleys that just float on air. That will be good fun, because thats one of the reasons I like shooting this kind of stuff, is you dont really have to worry about putting yourself out on some highway or dirt and get trashed. Its very safe, but its all playing with an illusion. Im looking forward to that scene.
Nolan Gerard Funk on his character Luna, “the hope of the movie”
Ive described it as being equatable to Alexa Davalos character in the second one, just that she was the innocent in these rough-and-tumble mercs. Obviously, strong enough to be able to stay alive and fight and all that, but also I think the name Luna gives away a lot. In this very dark world and the temperature of human beings, you have someone bringing in the faith and bringing in the idea that we have to listen to the signs. I think Im even more tapped into listening to the planet. Im one of the first people who starts becoming suspicious that there could be creatures out there and there could be more to this planet than were actually seeing. Especially for me and Jordis relationship, to justify why hes kept me around as long as he has it would make sense being the youngest and the most true in the crew, that I would stick around.
Production designer Joseph C. Nemec on the United Colors of Riddick
We are on a planet. We dont say exactly what it is. Our skies will have broken skies, broken sun, broken moon and there will be a lot of atmosphere. Most of our lighting is warmer. So we tried to stay with warmer colors to try and get away from some of the Chronicles look and to have a different look that was in Pitch Black as well. The only blue I have used in the entire film is a little bit of detail inside the private chambers. Everything else has been in warmer colors.