The blogosphere (or, rather, specialized segments of it) is abuzz with Vin Diesel’s statements about not one, but two forthcoming Riddick movies. Apparently director David Twohy is even now writing the scripts, which he and Diesel are about to start shopping around. Intriguingly, they’re also conferring on whether they’ll end up shooting both movies separately, or together, a la Lord of the Rings. And the LOTR reference is instructive, as it underscores what I was saying last month about just how ambitious the original Riddick plans were. And apparently still are. Just one problem.
Folks, nothing’s been signed. Twohy can write all he wants and Diesel can talk to whomever he damn well pleases and fans can work themselves up into a Furyan frenzy, but the fact of the matter remains that Chronicles underperformed at the box office. Which is going to make any sequels a VERY tough sell. I’m not saying it can’t be done. But ultimately the pitch meetings that Twohy/Diesel have with Hollywood execs may not be about Riddick anyway.
They’ll be about Babylon A.D.
Which opens in the States this weekend, and is Diesel’s first SF movie since Riddick. Making it a great way for Hollywood to tell if Diesel still has box-office draw as a SF star. Which, bluntly put, means that if Babylon tanks, you can forget about seeing anything involving Riddick, ever again. And it doesn’t look like we’re off to a good start, either: the movie opened in France, and has been panned by critics so far. Sure, Babylon might just suck in its own right. Doesn’t matter to Hollywood. Hey, it’s their money. When I invest mine, I like to see proof that it’s going to get me a return too.
So I leave you with this: if you really really REALLY want to see more Riddick movies, and you DON’T go see Babylon A.D. THIS WEEKEND, then your commitment to the cause has been weighed in the balance and found wanting. Convert now or fall forever.