Installment three of the Riddick juggernaut opens today. The Vin Diesel publicity machine is in overdrive, selling a labor-of-love that's been soon come long time. Vin has fast and furiously found time to service other projects in the intervening period. I see in the society columns this includes starting a family. Nice.
Vin's navel-string connection to the Riddick mythic remains his most personal. My own brush with this franchise-of-the-moment remains resonant with me too - nine years after the Universal extravagance of The Chronicles Of Riddick.
Director of both films David Twohy, a man with the air of a New England rambler, makes a noteworthy foil to Vin's engagingly temperate braggadocio. By my observation, he's a Science Fiction fan. Casting for Chronicles was an intuitive process to the point where we were encouraged, in between gym visits, to name our own characters. Previously nameless lifer-convicts in the middle third of a sprawling, futuristic, extra-planetary adventure.
I called my guy Sniper. The unthinkable Washington D.C. shooting mayhem was recent memory. I stole the vacant soul of Jamaican born Lee Boyd Malvo for backstory. Director comments in my DVD extras keep that angle alive for me, despite much of the screen evidence falling by the way.
I'll have no spoilers on the new Riddick 'til I see it, so read on without fear. The Crematoria arc was very time-consuming to shoot but we got some stunning otherworldly footage. Backlot security was tight but there was a controlled stream of visitors. Like Vin's sis, his mom and kids belonging to Vin's twin bro.
One special day I had my own daughter with me. Coming back from lunch there was an unexpected gathering on our working soundstage, but all film-making activity had ceased. Vin's bullhorn baritone led cast and crew in a Birthday serenade, surprising her, and me, with sixteen candles in a cake. This raised the bar for such milestones in my neighborhood.
Riddick keeps good company. I had camaraderie with Judi Dench, Thandie Newton, Alexa Davalos, Keith David, Colm Fiore,Yorick Van Wageningen and others, while working among a filial cadre of local performers enjoying the bombastic profile of high-level production. It was here, during the hurry-up-and-wait interstices, that I tasted rare humility in Scrabble, which vied with Poker for pastime of choice.
Not to mention Snoop (then) Dogg hit-up da after-party in L.A.
Vin gifted me a VHS copy of Multi-Facial, his first short film. It features a diamond performance from an actor with more versatility than some recognize. You get the feeling he could do virtually anything with direct efficiency, power and charm. Like the best of America's husky heroes.
Makes me wanna send Riddick to go Rambo on Syria.
Some interesting tweets…
1 week ago