How the hell does Riddick manage to screw up his sweet gig as Lord Marshall King Necromonger? How does Riddick fall so far, so fast, to end up on a deserted planet, alone? We asked director David Twohy everything we wanted to know about the new Riddick movie, and he told us a ton. Massive spoilers ahead...
Twohy, who directed the amazing Pitch Black and the cult classic Chronicles of Riddick, is back with Vin Diesel for a third installment. But there were some HUGE loose ends this director had to tie up before he could settle in to his new chase movie. And we want answers! So we got a little one-on-one time with Twohy, and he spilled a crap load of plot details. Don't read if you don't want to know how this movie starts.
And in other news, Twohy says they're already planning a Necromonger-heavy Director's Cut DVD. Fuck yes.
How much of the Necromonger race will we be seeing in the next movie?
David Twohy: The Riddick movie? When you say the next movie, I think to myself "movie 4 or 3?"
Wait, are there more movies planned?
There's probably two more, to tell the truth. To some degree, it depends on the success of this one, so we shall see. It's better to ask me that question in October.
But yes, there is an extended flashback sequence that explains how Riddick went from King of the Necromongers to being left for dead on this deserted planet. We sort of jump ahead, so people who know the last movie will be saying, "Well, how did he get here?"
The first sequence is about 10 to 15 minutes of him alone on this planet, with no dialogue and just minimal voiceover. And then he goes into a... hibernation. Everything on this planet has tooth and claw. Everything is trying to kill him. So he basically entombs himself, to keep the predators away from him.
And as he falls asleep in his tomb, we flash back to the Necromonger world. We get the sense that while it's great to be King, you have to deal with the assassins outside your room. Sometimes the assassins in your bed, and all the betrayals that take place there. With our limited resources, I was able to do I think a pretty good [job] of that in the movie. But I think I'll do a fuller job of that explanation with the director's cut DVD. Which I'm just cranking up now. So if Universal will pony up a few more dollars, I can show the extended version of that full explanation.
That was my next question, the world is so elaborate and beautiful, silver skeletal like armor and skeletal fashion. How were you able to recreate that? Was it mostly green screen?
A little bit of trickery, a little bit of reuse of footage.
Reuse of what footage?
For Riddick on the throne, a the last shot of the movie actually is a grand pullback. From him on the throne to all the Necromonger's bowing. It's a big ass shot. And rather than rebuild that set, at the cost of 2 million dollars. I said here's what we'll do, "we'll start at the back of the hall, and push forward to find him on the throne but a different Riddick. In a new armor, with a new outlook." I shot on a green screen, erased the old Riddick, and put in the new Riddick. So it looks like a new shot.
Does Riddick have a beard now [that he's the king]?
No. But he's wary. He's wary of everybody around him. [Riddick] has a voiceover that says basically, "Necromongers. Someone put a crown on my head, someone put a noose around my neck." It was about 50/50.
Is Riddick a good leader? Is this something he even likes doing?
It's a little more than Riddick signed on for. It probably takes Riddick into a place where we don't want the character to be. He partakes of all the perks of the office, like four courtesans in his bed at once. But even then he thinks, "one of these [courtesans] was sent here to kill me."
I'm excited that you're exploring this on the DVD.
I had to cut back that flashback, only because I was up against the time limit. The time limit for the release. And it's visual-FX intensive, meaning expensive. So I had to roll back on it a little bit, but now with new funds coming with the DVD, I think I can play it out in full.
In Chronicles of Riddick we fleshed out the Riddick universe. There were Elementals and references to other races. Are we going to see new alien races in Riddick the movie?
No. We hold it down to Riddick, Furyans, Necromongers, and the Mercenaries. But there's lot of new creatures.
This dog that I've seen concept art for, it's a cool looking monster dog. Is this the only nice creature on the planet? What's its demeanor?
It's actually an alien jackal, or we refer to them as jackals. Actually there's a pack of them that try and kill Riddick in the opening, when he's fighting for his life. They smell blood, they see a wounded thing and they just want to kill it and eat it. That's Riddick. Somehow he escapes that, but he does find later on in the movie a jackal pup, abandoned, that he takes and nurses back to health. Not because he's a good guy, but because he has a use for that pup. He thinks he can use that to his advantage. That's the reason that he initially takes the pup. Then the pup proves his worth, and becomes a companion to Riddick. We cut six months into the future, and suddenly the pup is shoulder height.
What is it about Riddick that allows him to get a third action movie? This is a third film years later, that I am legit excited about, why?
Your guess is as good as mine. He feels like a very elemental character that hasn't been cooked up by a studio. Hasn't been factory-made, because he's an amoral guy. He's not a hero, he's an anti-hero. But even though he's amoral, he has a code. A simple code, a code that people can respect. "Don't mess with me, and I won't mess with you." And he really doesn't kill in the movie. He really only kills when it's really justified. And when he really has to. And that's what makes him cool.
What happened to the knife he killed the Lord Marshall with?
No, because he had to snap that off and he left that blade in the head. So it's not that blade — but there's another blade in this movie.