Pitch Black (film)
U.S. theatrical poster
|Directed by||David Twohy|
|Produced by||Tom Engelman|
|Screenplay by||Jim Wheat
|Story by||Jim Wheat
|Music by||Graeme Revell|
|Editing by||Rick Shaine|
|Distributed by||USA Films
(all other rights)
|Running time||110 minutes
(Box Office Mojo)
Pitch Black (known as The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black in later home media releases) is a 2000 science fiction thriller film co-written and directed by David Twohy. The film stars Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Keith David, and Claudia Black.
In the film, dangerous criminal Richard B. Riddick (Diesel) is being transported to prison in a cargo spacecraft. When the spaceship is damaged by comet debris and makes an emergency crash landing on an empty desert planet, Riddick escapes. However, when predatory alien creatures begin attacking the survivors, Riddick joins forces with the crew to develop a plan to escape the planet.
The film's total budget was estimated to be US$23 million and despite mixed reviews from critics, it was a sleeper hit, grossing over US$53 million worldwide. It has since developed its own cult following, particularly around the antihero Riddick. A sequel, The Chronicles of Riddick, was released in 2004, with Twohy returning as writer and director. A third film entitled Riddick is planned for 2013, with David Twohy again at the helm.
Plot summary 
In the distant future, the transport ship Hunter-Gratzner, with its crew and passengers in cryo-stasis chambers, passes through a comet's tail while on autopilot. Debris from the comet ruptures the hull and kills some of its crew, including the captain. The remaining crew is awakened, and docking pilot Carolyn Fry (Radha Mitchell) and her co-pilot, Greg Owens (Simon Burke), awake in time to attempt to land the ship on a nearby planet. Fry wants to dump the passenger compartment to save the ship and herself, but Owens stops her. The ship crashes on the surface, killing Owens. Fry joins with the surviving passengers, including the Muslim Imam (Keith David), a young boy named Jack (Rhiana Griffith), and William J. Johns (Cole Hauser), who claims to be a cop. Johns discovers that another passenger, the convict Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel), has escaped, and implores the others to help find him.
As they explore the planet, they find it is surrounded by three suns, keeping it in perpetual daylight. They come upon an abandoned human geological research settlement, with supplies of water and a spacecraft they can use to escape the planet, though lacking power cells. They prepare to return to the crashed ship to collect its power cells. When one survivor is killed exploring a nearby cave, Riddick is discovered and captured by Johns. Fry investigates the cave, looking for the body, but instead discovers several living indigenous creatures, vicious winged hunters that can only survive in the dark. Fry believes that the population of the settlement was killed by the creatures, and orders Riddick released, believing him to be a far lesser threat than the creatures. Riddick reveals that Johns is actually a mercenary for hire, and bringing Riddick in for a bounty. As they are about to leave the settlement, they discover that the planet undergoes a month-long eclipse every twenty-two years, due to start shortly.
The group returns to the wreckage of the Hunter-Gratzner and collect the power cells and remaining survivors. The eclipse begins, shrouding the planet in darkness and causing the creatures to emerge from their underground dens. Riddick, who has the ability to see in the darkness, takes control, ordering them to collect all the light sources to ward away the creatures before they make their way back to the settlement. Though the group initially works together, the tension breaks them apart, and several of the survivors are killed during the chaos. To make matters worse, Riddick reveals that Jack is a girl and undergoing her menstrual cycle, the scent of blood leading the creatures to them. When Johns suggests using Jack as bait to lure the predators away, Riddick wounds him and leaves him behind, luring the beasts to devour Johns. With the survivors down to Riddick, Fry, Jack, and Imam and few light sources left, they take shelter in a cave near the settlement where bioluminescent worms keep the creatures at bay. Riddick promises to return to the three and goes off to the settlement to collect the spacecraft.
Fry, attempting to ward off the creatures, discovers Riddick ready to take off in the shuttle by himself, and she begs him to stay, revealing that she had been ready to ditch the other passengers before to save herself. Riddick initially declines, urging her to go with him. They fight and he asks if she is ready to die for the others, when she says yes he relents and returns with her to rescue them. On the way back to the ship Riddick is injured fighting off the creatures and Fry goes back for him. Just as she has saved him one of the creatures seizes her and carries her off into the darkness. Riddick screams in frustration. Getting to the ship, Riddick hesitates before starting the engine until many of the creatures are on the ship and then fires it up, frying them and getting some revenge for Fry. As they enter space, Riddick tells the others that should they encounter any law enforcement personnel, "Tell 'em Riddick's dead. He died somewhere on that planet."
- Vin Diesel as Richard B. Riddick
- Radha Mitchell as Carolyn Fry
- Cole Hauser as William J. Johns
- Keith David as Abu 'Imam' al-Walid
- Lewis Fitz-Gerald as Paris P. Ogilvie
- Claudia Black as Sharon 'Shazza' Montgomery
- Rhiana Griffith as Jack / Jackie
- John Moore as John 'Zeke' Ezekiel
- Simon Burke as Greg Owens
- Les Chantery as Suleiman
- Sam Sari as Hassan
- Firass Dirani as Ali
- Ric Anderson as Total Stranger
- Vic Wilson as Captain Tom Mitchell
- Angela Moore as Dead Crew Member
Home media 
Pitch Black opened in 1,832 theaters on 18 February 2000, grossing US$11,577,688 over its opening weekend and ranking #4 at the box office. The film has a domestic gross of US$39,240,659 and a foreign gross of US$13,947,000, giving it a worldwide total of US$53,187,659.
Awards and Nominations 
|2000||Saturn Award||Best Science Fiction Film||Pitch Black||Nominated|
|2001||Australian Cinematographers Society Award||Cinematographer of the Year||David Eggby||Won|
|Blockbuster Entertainment Award||Favorite Actor - Horror||Vin Diesel||Nominated|
|Bram Stoker Award||Best Screenplay||David Twohy, Jim Wheat and Ken Wheat||Nominated|
|International Horror Guild Award||Best Movie||Pitch Black||Nominated|
Related works 
The movie's sequel, The Chronicles of Riddick (2004), was also directed by David Twohy. A short animated movie released the same year, The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury (2004), was directed by Peter Chung. Dark Fury bridges the gap between Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick.
To tie-in with the sequel, the film was novelized under the name The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black. The novel was written by Frank Lauria.
In 2000, a prequel to Pitch Black was released named Into Pitch Black, which was supposed to be a documentary film. The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, a game for the Xbox and the PC, was also released in 2004 to critical acclaim. A remake of Butcher Bay, including a new campaign, was released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on 7 April 2009, under the title The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena.
- "Pitch Black (1999)". British Board of Film Classification.
- "Pitch Black (2000) – Technical specifications". Internet Movie Database.
- "Pitch Black (2000)". Box Office Mojo.
- "Pitch Black". The-Numbers.com.
- "Pitch Black Blu-ray: Theatrical & Unrated Director's Cut". Blu-ray.com.
- Pitch Black at Rotten Tomatoes
- "Pitch Black (2000) - Awards". IMDb. Retrieved 2013-04-14.
- Curtis, Amy (2011-8-12). "Amped Up Riddick Sequel Underway." wegotthiscovered.com.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Pitch Black|
- Official movie website
- Pitch Black at the Internet Movie Database
- Pitch Black at AllRovi
- Pitch Black at the TCM Movie Database
- "Vin Diesel of Pitch Black". (Online chat transcript) SciFi.com, February 16, 2000. Archived from the original on June 16, 2004; and Part 2, February 24, 2000. Archived from the original on June 14, 2004.