Riddick 4 is shaping up to end the Vin Diesel sci-fi franchise. While he built his career on the Fast & Furious or Xander Cage movies, Diesel made his first real impression on audiences thanks to 2000’s sleeper hit Pitch Black. Diesel beat out Steven Seagal to play Richard B. Riddick, a brutal convict who crash lands on a planet filled with creatures that hunt in the dark. Diesel’s gravelly-voiced charisma has rarely been better utilized than Pitch Black, but while he returned for two sequels, the series never had the box-office impact of his other franchises.
Part of that could be the Chronicles Of Riddick’s somewhat confused branding. The first was a modestly-budgeted creature feature while the 2004 sequel was a big-budget soft reboot that attempted to make Riddick a more audience-friendly figure. When that didn’t work, 2013’s Riddick was another soft reboot that returned to the character’s genre roots while backing off the convoluted lore of the second entry. Riddick 4 has been in development for years, with Diesel’s commitment to the Fast movie saga likely being the reason behind its slow progress. Diesel has been teasing Riddick 4 on social media though, and signs are pointing to it being the finale.
Riddick 4 Is Skipping A Movie
The Chronicles Of Riddick introduced a lot of lore of the series through its antagonists, the Necromongers. An empire of religious fanatics who sought to either convert the universe to their cause – or wipe out non-believers. They also believed “the Underverse” was a promised land they would be reborn in. Speaking with Screen Rant in 2013, director David Twohy stated “I believe there are two more movies,” and that the fourth entry would follow Riddick on a journey through the Underverse to reach his home planet Furya. Tellingly, Twohy also stated of his sequel plans “… is it like a two-parter rather than a one-parter?“
Considering Riddick 4 has the subtitle Furya, it appears Twohy and Diesel have opted to skip a sequel and just bring Riddick home. Part of that could be down to expense, as the Riddick movies are traditionally lower-budget, R-rated affairs, and an odyssey through the Underverse may have been too grandiose a vision. While it was cut from the theatrical version, the extended Blu-ray cut of Riddick closed with the titular character preparing to travel through the Underverse in pursuit of Karl Urban’s Necromonger Vaako. This was likely setting up Twohy’s original story plan for Riddick 4, but the Underverse might be reduced to a prologue instead.
Riddick’s Creator Wants To Give The Series A Definitive Ending
The films have charted the growth of Diesel’s character from anti-hero to… less of an anti-hero. Chronicles Of Riddick offered him some development, as he lost the only people he was close to and discovered more about his home planet. To the series’ credit there has been a definite feeling of growth with the character, and the sense there would be an ending to Riddick’s – who also appeared in an anime – story. In the aforementioned interview, Twohy also stated “… it’s good that we are looking at ending the series” and “I think there’s a real end to this and I know what that last movie looks like.”
In contrast to the Fast & Furious series – which always found a new threat to pit Dom and co against – it’s somewhat refreshing that there’s a planned final chapter for Riddick. In fact, skipping the original two-movie plan feels like the better move, as it would require audiences to be caught up again on the Necromonger lore which, as the underwhelming performance of The Chronicles Of Riddick showed, they weren’t terribly invested in to start with. The films function best as lean, mean b-movies, and while the world-building can be intriguing, that’s never been the main appeal.
Furya Gives Riddick His Perfect Ending
Pitch Black – which has a forgotten TV sequel – introduced Riddick as the ultimate loner, who scorned human contact at all costs. He became (a tad) friendlier in later entries, but as the third movie made clear, he became obsessed with discovering his origin. His unique night vision eyesight and superior strength are due to being from planet Furya, which was attacked and supposedly wiped out by the Necromongers when Riddick was an infant. Given that family has played a large role in Diesel’s other properties, Riddick 4 bringing the character full circle will no doubt involve some kind of familial drama.
It will also allow Riddick to come to terms with his past and decide his future. Riddick’s past was essentially stolen from him, and Furya can see him make peace with his various demons. Since Pitch Black is the film that put Diesel on the map, the star’s got a certain affection for the gruff convict, and will no doubt want to end Riddick’s arc on a strong note. Concept art for Riddick 4 has already teased he will meet other Furyans, including a child with eyes just like his. Considering the title anti-hero will be meeting others that match his strength, he’ll likely come into some conflict too.
Will Riddick Die In Furya?
Of course, a major question is just how final will Riddick 4: Furya prove to be. Diesel himself has rarely died onscreen outside of Saving Private Ryan or his supporting role in Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Riddick has already survived injuries that would kill lesser morals, but returning to Furya may see him face challenges even he isn’t prepared for. In the mythology of the films, his home world Furya was infamous for being one of the harshest planets in the universe; it was only due to the superhuman traits of the Furyans themselves that they were able to survive on it.
Seeing as Riddick 4 is looking like the end of the series, it’s possible Richard B. won’t make it out alive. That said, looking at Diesel’s screen history, he tends to avoid such bleak outcomes. Fast & Furious isn’t nearly as dark, but the fact it continually brings characters back from the dead – with Letty and Han being the most famous – due to audience demand suggests Diesel doesn’t want to bum people out. Riddick could perish in some heroic sacrifice to save what’s left of the Furyans, but he’ll likely receive a more hopeful outcome.
Next: Everything We Know About Riddick 4
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