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Show Bizness => Latest Flicks => Topic started by: Reginald Hudlin on September 05, 2013, 10:45:25 am

Title: Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on September 05, 2013, 10:45:25 am
Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
6:00 AM PDT 9/4/2013 by Borys Kit

How the franchise star revived the breakout role from 2000's "Pitch Black" after its sequel fizzled, leading to "Riddick."


Vin Diesel doesn't just play Riddick, the intergalactic ex-con who can see in the dark, he owns the role -- literally. And thanks to some shrewd maneuvers from the muscle-bound star, he has kept the franchise alive: Nine years after the last movie in the series, Universal is releasing Riddick on Sept. 6.

Diesel, 46, and Riddick writer-director David Twohy have overcome obstacles, but the key move came in 2006, when Universal asked Diesel to make a cameo in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. (Diesel had starred in the first Fast and the Furious in 2001 but walked away from the first two sequels.) Looking to recharge the series, the studio wanted to use his brief return in Tokyo Drift to signal he would be back center stage in a fourth movie. Diesel agreed, but instead of an acting fee, he demanded the studio give him and his One Race production company rights to the Riddick character.

When he hit the screen in 2000 in the low-budget Pitch Black, Riddick became a breakout role for Diesel, who had only had supporting parts in Saving Private Ryan and Boiler Room. Originally, PolyGram wanted Steven Seagal. "It's easy to see Vin now in it, but auditioning is not his gift," recalls Twohy. "He didn't rise to the top of the heap in a clear way, but there was something there."
Twohy and producer Ted Field championed the actor, and Pitch Black, produced for about $22 million, turned a modest profit, grossing $53 million worldwide. But when 2004's sequel The Chronicles of Riddick, which cost more than $100 million, took in only $116 million worldwide, plans for more movies disappeared.

Diesel, his star rising with the continuing success of the Fast & Furious franchise, couldn't shake the underdog Riddick, though. "It's the story of my life," he said in an emotional speech at Riddick's L.A. premiere Aug. 28.

So in 2009, Twohy and Diesel hunkered down in Diesel's kitchen and hammered out a new story. Instead of continuing in the extravagant vein of the second film, they returned to basics, with a lone Riddick marooned on a hostile planet. The project, with Diesel and Field producing, was introduced in 2010 at Berlin's European Film Market, where it was one of the hottest titles in the presales market.

But they still weren't home free. With crews arriving in Montreal in 2012, the money ran out when a completion bond fell through. "It was messy, it was bad," says Twohy. "We basically got kicked out of town." Diesel then personally advanced funds until bank loans were secured and the filmmakers could return to Montreal, where they shot for 48 days on a budget in the $35 million to $40 million range. Somewhat ironically, Universal, which had unloaded the character, then took an equity position in the film and agreed to distribute, allowing Diesel to resurrect his Riddick.
Title: Re: Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
Post by: Rockscissorspaper on September 05, 2013, 11:31:15 am
The idea of Steven Seagal as Riddick is hilarious.
Title: Re: Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
Post by: FLEX HECTIC on September 05, 2013, 11:57:55 am
Reggie I remember when I was training your boy Ted Field as his substitute trainer for a month and he told me the synopsis of the new Riddick story with the agreement to keep my mouth shut about it... As if I would dare post that info on a forum or something! ;) :-X


You and Ted need to work something out for some black sci-fi projects he spoke very highly of you BTW... It's time for you to get your inner Spielberg on and Ted might be that dude!


Put that script for the prequel to Da Butler away and burn that backstory to Sounder and grab one of them Milestone characters and make that movie!


I think that as your star is rising with the Academy Award nomination and your tea and crumpets time with J.J. Abrams it's your time to shine!


Did I ever tell you about the time I wore a Black Panther t-shirt to train Ted just to get that controversial conversation going... Fanboy to the fullest Wakanda fool what!







Title: Re: Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
Post by: The Griot on September 05, 2013, 12:05:20 pm
I liked the second Riddick movie very much. Best planet invasion scene ever. I was kind of hoping they would pick up where they left off. But money talks. One of my friends described the character perfectly; 'Conan in Space.' I'm going to see this new one.
Title: Re: Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on September 05, 2013, 04:57:32 pm
The idea of Steven Seagal as Riddick is hilarious.
One of the many great examples of a movie being saved by not getting the first casting choice.
Title: Re: Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on September 05, 2013, 04:58:35 pm
Reggie I remember when I was training your boy Ted Field as his substitute trainer for a month and he told me the synopsis of the new Riddick story with the agreement to keep my mouth shut about it... As if I would dare post that info on a forum or something! ;) :-X


You and Ted need to work something out for some black sci-fi projects he spoke very highly of you BTW... It's time for you to get your inner Spielberg on and Ted might be that dude!


Put that script for the prequel to Da Butler away and burn that backstory to Sounder and grab one of them Milestone characters and make that movie!


I think that as your star is rising with the Academy Award nomination and your tea and crumpets time with J.J. Abrams it's your time to shine!


Did I ever tell you about the time I wore a Black Panther t-shirt to train Ted just to get that controversial conversation going... Fanboy to the fullest Wakanda fool what!
I like Ted.  We just saw each other when Vin got his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Title: Re: Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
Post by: FLEX HECTIC on September 05, 2013, 05:29:50 pm
Did you know Ted also likes to spar MMA when he trains?


My MMA instructor Harold was his trainer and when he would go to Thailand for his month long vacations I got to train Ted three separate months!


He's got a nice push kick for an old dude and even with his bad hand he could strike quite well so I often got jobbed like Black Panther written by Roy Thomas... My excuse is you can't hit Daddy Warbucks too hard or you will never work in this town again so I gave him a pass! ;D


After that Comic-con where you gave me a shout out during the question and answer period about the "Black Comic Convention" he wanted to know who I was talking about... When Hudlin drops your name like that it's huge and I was still talking about to everybody and they momma! 8)


When I mentioned your name he said you just had lunch together and were working on some projects... I'm so tired of white guys who know more black guys than I do! Lol


I think Ted needs to be in on the black super hero movement as someone who has invested in black genres particularly rap music having signed Tupac among other things!


I was only the substitute trainer but you have more business history with him and could probably get more things done... This is one of the many reasons why I believe you should host the black comic book convention!


People like you man and except for the Black Panther Haters I rarely hear any negative things associated with your name in Tinseltown... But that has not stopped me from making up some rumors about you though! ;)


Title: Re: Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
Post by: Emperorjones on September 06, 2013, 03:52:18 am
Hopefully Vin Diesel's move will pay off for him. In way, just getting Riddick made has proven a win. I don't get why Chronicles did so poorly. I enjoyed that film. It was a definite shift in tone and much more epic in scope than Pitch Black. I didn't agree with all of the changes and perhaps Riddick was softened a bit too much, but still I thought it was a good film. Looking forward to Riddick. I hope the returns to basics approach just doesn't rip off Pitch Black. Emulating its style is cool but I don't want a retread of that story.
Title: Re: Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
Post by: KIP LEWIS on September 07, 2013, 02:13:33 pm
I was disappointed.  No real suspense or intensity.  Maybe 2.5 out of 5.
Title: Re: Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
Post by: Emperorjones on September 07, 2013, 04:38:28 pm
I liked Riddick. It is very reminiscent of Pitch Black, which was fine with me because I really liked that film. I also thought it had some funny moments, particularly with the bounty hunters Santana and Diaz (WWE's Batista). I thought it was a nice follow up to Chronicles, quickly and neatly explaining why the film starts with Riddick in a new predicament. I do think it was a little slow at the beginning but once the action kicked up I was into it.

The new aliens, called mud demons according to the Riddick wiki, aren't as cool as the bioraptors from Pitch Black or the Necromongers from Chronicles. But still they were distinctive. I couldn't help but think that After Earth needed the designers from this film. Because many of the alien fauna felt like it could have evolved to kill humans.
Title: Re: Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
Post by: jefferson L.O.B. sergeant on September 07, 2013, 06:00:18 pm
Riddick needs to appear in other universes.

Since Diesel owns the characters he should swing possible cameos or more in upcoming sci-fi movies.
Title: Re: Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
Post by: Hypestyle on September 07, 2013, 06:49:48 pm
Riddick needs to appear in other universes.

Since Diesel owns the characters he should swing possible cameos or more in upcoming sci-fi movies.

So, maybe Guardians of the Galaxy part 2?   8)  Maybe Riddick can encounter the crew (and initially, have a fight with them) before teaming up against some cosmic bad guys.  Look for romance with Gamora.
Title: Re: Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
Post by: Emperorjones on September 07, 2013, 07:17:16 pm
Riddick needs to appear in other universes.

Since Diesel owns the characters he should swing possible cameos or more in upcoming sci-fi movies.

Interesting idea. I think he would fit well in an Aliens or Predator film. The issue would be would they jettison his universe/mythology? Or would that even matter if he just popped up in an Aliens or Predator movie?
Title: Re: Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
Post by: jefferson L.O.B. sergeant on September 07, 2013, 09:48:13 pm
Riddick needs to appear in other universes.

Since Diesel owns the characters he should swing possible cameos or more in upcoming sci-fi movies.

Interesting idea. I think he would fit well in an Aliens or Predator film. The issue would be would they jettison his universe/mythology? Or would that even matter if he just popped up in an Aliens or Predator movie?

I don't think it matters.

Fans have a way of sorting out conflicts in canon and could come up with something that works.
Title: Re: Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on September 08, 2013, 09:24:33 pm
I had a great time watching the film.  Riddick movies are like Conan in outer space...but better.
Title: Re: Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on September 11, 2013, 07:27:24 am
David Twohy, 'Riddick' Director, Explains How Hard It Was To Make A Third 'Riddick' Movie
Posted: 09/03/2013 1:23 pm EDT

Filmmaking in 2013: "Riddick," the third Vin Diesel film to feature that title anti-hero, is an indie feature. That means even Vin Diesel -- who, thanks to the "Fast and Furious" movies, stars in one of the most popular film franchises in existence -- had to independently finance the third "Riddick" movie. How did he get here?

Let's start with "The Chronicles of Riddick," the sequel to "Pitch Black," which was released on June 11, 2004. The film, which cost around $110 million, grossed just $57 million at the North American box office, making it one of that summer's costly misfires. After that result it was understandable that a studio -- in this case, Universal -- was leery about putting more money into the franchise, even at this new film's reported bargain budgetary cost of $38 million.

Maybe, though, that was for the best. In this new installment, we find Riddick (Diesel) left for dead on a desolate planet. After a lengthy recuperation segment, the focus of the film shifts to a group of bounty hunters who are on the planet searching for Riddick. So, Riddick, the character, shifts from our hero to, as "Riddick" director David Twohy calls him, "the bogey man." It's something Twohy, who also directed the previous two installments, says would never have happened had this been a straightforward studio movie.

Did you ever think this third movie would ever happen after "The Chronicles of Riddick" underperformed?
Yeah, I had my doubts after the second one. And we suffered some slings and arrows. According to the studio, we spent way too much money and didn't make enough back. So, that's never a good formula. So, I had my doubts. If you speak with Vin, I'm thinking he would say, "Never a doubt that we were going to do a third movie" -- because that's just the kind of guy he is. He is a big dreamer. I'm more the pragmatist of the duo.

Vin Diesel has had quite the resurgence over the last couple of years.
Look, I've learned never to count Vin Diesel out. Just don't do that. And I guess it's because he is a very smart guy. Smarter than people give him credit for.

I enjoyed that in "Riddick" the stakes are big to the characters, but not compared to all of the big summer movies we just saw. These people basically just need to leave a planet and that's it.
And look, I've been in those meetings, too. Where it's, "We have to up the stakes. We have to give it a ticking clock" ... So, I hope that "Riddick," if nothing else, feels a little more handmade than factory-made. That's what I set out to do and Vin was certainly along for that ride, too.

The first half hour, we're pretty much alone with Riddick. Then the film focuses on the bounty hunters and Riddick becomes almost the bad guy, even though we spent the first part of the movie with him.
That's right. Now, that's something the studio would have fret out about. "Wait a second. You are totally sympathetic with Riddick while he's trying to survive, but then you're using him as the bogey man."

Why did you want to do that?
Because he is both those things. He is a man. He is a survivor -- a survivor with skills. And enough personal code that he can be sympathetic to us, but, at the same time, never let the audience forget that he's a stone cold killer. But, you know I think it works. Because I have to introduce those new characters ... I have like 10 new characters to establish. And I can bolster Riddick's roar -- his legend -- by having them talk about him as they glimpse him.

Do you think the success of the "Fast and Furious" movies helped to get "Riddick" made?
Yes. But, here's the cyclical nature of the business. Because "Pitch Black" did well, that allowed him to be part of the "Fast and Furious" franchise. And guess what? What goes around, comes around. So, on the basis of that, he was dropped into a major part in "The Fast and the Furious." And based on the success of that, yes, that does impact on our ability to launch this third one. Even though Universal didn't want to make it at a certain point. In fact, they didn't make it. Do you know that story?

I do not.
It goes like this. After "Chronicles," they said, "We are out of the Riddick business. It's just a straight business calculation of us. You spent too much money and you didn't make enough back. So, no, we're not going to do anymore." Vin, being the savvy guy he is, said, "Well, give me the rights back." And they didn't want to do that ... I think this was about the time that "Fast 3" had already shot and they were testing it. Maybe it wasn't testing as well as it should have and they decide, "Maybe we need a cameo from Vin" -- because he wasn't in that movie. So, I do believe that in his savviness, Vin said, "Don't pay me for that cameo. Just give me the rights back." So, his company basically controls the rights and because I control all of the sequels and remakes. So, we can't make a movie without each other, nor would we want to. So, that's how he got the rights back and I think that was a great business move.

So, ultimately, we did it as an independent movie. I wrote a spec script. We sold it in Berlin for international. We came back into town looking for a domestic partner. I thought it was going to be Sony or Film District -- they were both eager to have the movie. And then, guess what? Universal raises their hand, "Well, what about us?" And I said, "This doesn't feel right to me" But Vin, he was saying, "That was then, this is now" ... So with the "Fast and Furious" franchise and his relationship with Universal over that and the strength of those, we placed it again at Universal. So, the company that kicked us to the curb [laughs] picked up the movie and will be distributing it in the U.S. and Canada.

So Universal didn't put any money into the film?
They put money into it for their domestic distribution rights.

So Riddick is an indie film?
Here's an example of how it's an indie film. I wrote a spec script, we sold that. We went up to Montreal and I think I did one polish on my original script -- and then we shot that. Then, when it comes to editing, I got to the point when I wanted to show it to 50 people in a room, just to see what they understood: What was clear to them and what was not clear to them. Because of things aren't clear to them, the audience can't enjoy it and I still have time to go to the editing room and clean it up. I didn't have it scored and didn't fill out forms, I just stood in front of them and asked them questions ... I had the studio heads in once, but we were basically locked at that point. So, very pure filmmaking. Very pure.