Pitch Black had introduced the audiences to Riddick, Vin Diesel’s sci-fi/horror action hero who went on to inspire an entire movie trilogy.
It was not a colossal hit back in 2000, Pitch Black introduced sci-fi horror audiences to the character of Richard Riddick, played by Vin Diesel, who quickly became one of the genre’s coolest and most unconventional heroes.
Pitch Black was directed by David Twohy which followed a group of travelers that includes Riddick, a dangerous criminal, en route to prison. While Riddick’s transport is not the sole purpose of the Hunter – Gratzner’s voyage, he then ends up becoming the most useful man on board when the ship has to make an emergency landing on a strange planet that is inhabited by dangerous, creatures who becomes a major threat to the crew during a lengthy eclipse. Though he is certainly dangerous and also unpredictable, Riddick’s heroic actions lean on common antihero characteristics, which are not always seen in sci-fi horror and action-horror films; usually, the good guys – like Ellen Ripley in Alien – tend to be leading the charge.
While the movie was not a success, it got mixed reviews from critics and only managing to scare up 52.2 million dollars on a 23 million dollars budget, the character of Riddick ended up becoming a franchise in and of himself, this had a lot to do with Vin’s performance, but also because of the character, his unique abilities, and his personality.
Diesel has gone to be a major superstar and has held beloved roles in major franchises like Fast and Furious and Guardians of the Galaxy, but his role in Riddick movie cemented his spot in sci-fi horror history as well.
The Chronicles of Riddick 2004, and Riddick 2013, focussed on the character over anything else and fell away from the aspects that had made the film drag. The ensemble performances ultimately detracted from what the viewers wanted more of Vin Diesel and Riddick.