An early promo-shot for Riddick has been released online, but you’ll have to look closely because it’s (perhaps intentionally) a dark one. The latest instalment of the otherwise dormant sci-fi franchise sees Vin Diesel reprise his role as the titular anti-hero. The series launched with the sleeper-hit Pitch Black (2000), which quickly reached cult-status and propelled Diesel towards becoming a superstar.
This was (not so quickly) followed up by the below-par sequel The Chronicles of Riddick (2004), which spectacularly failed to light up the worldwide box-office. Both director David Twohy and Diesel where left in the doldrums as a result of that box-office disaster but now they have another shot to make up for lost time and right all the wrongs of their previous effort.
Writer/director David Twohy returns to the series to direct. Karl Urban will also reprise his role from the sequel, alongside a cast including Katee Sackhoff, Jordi Mollà, Matt Nable, Bokeem Woodbine, Nolan Gerard Funk, Keri Hilson and WWE’s Dave Bautista.
This is one of the more unnecessary sequels of recent years, especially as the franchise has never shown any box-office potential. Unfortunately, this promo-shot does virtually nothing to increase anticipation or quash any pre-conceived negative buzz.
After his career was revived in the recent The Fast and the Furious sequels, Vin Diesel has enjoyed a return to superstar status, so why the image doesn’t capitalise on this is baffling. There is nothing here to get truly excited about, the film’s star is barely visible and any attempts to create a sense of foreboding or threat are immediately lost within the obscurity of the image itself.
Diesel is at his best when he is playing these hard-as-nails characters, and complimented by the recent surge in sci-fi popularity, this film has real potential to be a success. However, none of that is evident here, he actually seems to be a shadow (not literally) of his former tough-guy self.
Promo-shots are intended to go viral and create online excitement months in advance of the pending release date, but to do so, the image must first be striking and informative enough to get the core fan-base talking.
Plenty of time yet though.
The film is due for release in the US on September 6th 2013.