The Chronicles of Riddick (franchise)

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The Chronicles of Riddick
Created by
Original workPitch Black (2000)
OwnerUniversal Pictures
Print publications
  • Pitch Black (2000)
  • The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
  • Pitch Black: Slam City (2000)
  • Riddick: Blindsided (2013)
Films and television
Short film(s)The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury (2004)
Television special(s)Into Pitch Black (2000)
Video game(s)

The Chronicles of Riddick is an American science fiction space Western[1] media franchise created by brothers Ken and Jim Wheat and later continued by writer-director David Twohy. It follows the adventures of antihero character Riddick (either portrayed or voiced by Vin Diesel) in the 28th century.

The film series began with the release of Pitch Black (2000), which was written by director Twohy and brothers Ken and Jim Wheat from a story by the latter brothers. Since then Twohy has solely written and directed two sequels, The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) and Riddick (2013), and was involved in the development of the storyline of a number of the series' offshoots.

In addition to the feature films, The Chronicles of Riddick fictional universe includes an animated short film and several video games, motion comics, and novelizations. A fourth film, entitled Riddick: Furya, is in development.


Pitch Black (2000)[edit]

Riddick is transported to prison on the Hunter Gratzner, a commercial cargo spaceship. When the craft is damaged in the wake of a comet and makes an emergency crash landing on an isolated desert planet, Riddick escapes. However, when flying creatures begin attacking all the survivors, Riddick joins forces with the others to escape the planet.

After the release of the sequel titled The Chronicles of Riddick, this film has been referred to as The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black in subsequent home video re-releases.

The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)[edit]

Five years after the events of Pitch Black, Riddick evades bounty hunters and learns of a warrior army known as "The Necromongers". He is captured and sent to the prison planet Crematoria, where he reunites with Jack from the first film. Riddick escapes and battles with the Necromonger fleet, which ends with the defeat of the Lord Marshal and Riddick taking his place.

Riddick (2013)[edit]

In 2006, Vin Diesel agreed to make a cameo in Universal's film The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift in exchange for the ownership to the rights to the Riddick character.[2] Encouraged by high DVD sales and Diesel's newly restored box office success, David Twohy wrote a script for a third film in the Riddick series.[3][4][5] The film was produced by Media Rights Capital and distributed by Universal, and was released on September 6, 2013.

Betrayed and left for dead by the Necromongers on a desolate planet, Riddick is forced to fight for survival against alien predators. He eventually realizes that an approaching storm will kill him and he must rely on mercenaries to escape.

Riddick: Furya (TBA)[edit]

In January 2014, Diesel announced on his Facebook page that Universal wished to develop a fourth Riddick film, again prompted by robust DVD sales of the most recent film in the series.[6] In April 2016, Vin Diesel confirmed that he and writer-director David Twohy were developing a fourth Riddick movie titled The Chronicles of Riddick: Furya. In May 2016, he explained that production on The Chronicles of Riddick: Furya may begin in early 2017. In a video, Vin Diesel asked: "Are you guys excited to hear about Furya? Do you want to know where it all began with that dark character Riddick?". David Twohy confirmed that the new film would be rated R.[7] On 21 July 2019, Diesel announced on his Instagram that he had received Twohy's script for Riddick 4: Furya.[8] In May 2022, an Instagram post from Vin Diesel also suggested that pre-production has moved on to the storyboarding phase.[9] Riddick: Furya, the fourth installment was announced in February 2023. Vin Diesel will again appear in the film and David Twohy has written the script and will direct the film.[10]

Short films[edit]

The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury (2004)[edit]

Dark Fury, an anime-inspired made-for-DVD animated film, acts as a bridge between the live-action films of Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick. It takes place shortly after Pitch Black and involves Riddick and the other two survivors of Pitch Black, Jack and Imam, and their run-in with a mercenary ship, as well as its captain who wishes to keep Riddick frozen as part of her collection of warriors from around the universe. It received mixed reviews.

Video games[edit]

The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (2004)[edit]

Escape from Butcher Bay is a video game based on the Riddick series, released for the Xbox and Windows PC. It acts as a prequel to Pitch Black, and involves Riddick's escape from the eponymous prison, Butcher Bay. It was well received and is often listed among the greatest video games.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (2009)[edit]

Assault on Dark Athena is a video game for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, and Mac OS X computers. It includes an enhanced remake of Escape from Butcher Bay, and covers events between the previous game and Pitch Black. Reviews were mostly positive.

Riddick: The Merc Files (2013)[edit]

Riddick: The Merc Files is a touch-based stealth action game for Android and iOS devices. It was developed by Gaming Corps, a game developer founded by some of the original developers of the previous Riddick games.[11]


Into Pitch Black (2000)[edit]

Into Pitch Black is a Syfy (formerly The Sci-Fi Channel) special which takes place before and after the events of Pitch Black. It mixes clips from Pitch Black into sequences focusing on a psychologist who studied Riddick in prison, the doctor who gave him his "eyeshine" ability, and a Lawman hiring a female mercenary to track Riddick months after Pitch Black. It shows several inconsistencies with the official storyline of the later sequels and video games and is non-canonical.[12]


In June 2004, David Twohy announced that he was writing the story basis for a SyFy television film/pilot episode for a proposed television series based on the Riddick character Kyra.[13]

In December 2015, Diesel announced on his Instagram account that both he and Twohy developed a TV series titled Merc City that will follow the Mercs and Bounty Hunters of the Riddick franchise.[14]


Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick have received novelizations of their scripts, by Frank Lauria and Alan Dean Foster respectively. These expand on elements of the films, most notably Pitch Black providing character backstory for Riddick and The Chronicles of Riddick describing the Necromongers and their religion in greater detail.

  • Pitch Black (2000)
  • The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)

Motion comics[edit]

Pitch Black: Slam City (2000)[edit]

Pitch Black: Slam City is a short motion comic prequel to Pitch Black by animator Brian Murray with David Twohy which had been available for download at the Pitch Black website. Slam City is in the form of an official, confidential prison record detailing Riddick's arrival and escape from the Ursa Luna Slam City facility, in eleven hours and twenty-two minutes. Notably, it shows Riddick undergoing the surgery that gives him "eyeshine" — the ability to see in the dark — and paying for this with a pack of Kool cigarettes, as mentioned in Pitch Black. William J. Johns is seen at the end of the film being charged with capturing Riddick.

Riddick: Blindsided (2013)[edit]

Riddick: Blindsided is a motion comic based on storyboarded scenes[15] of the third film that didn't make the theatrical cut. It takes place shortly before the events of Riddick and bridges that film with the previous one. The director's cut of Riddick reinserts most of the material covered in Blindsided back into the film. It was released online[16] a month before the release of the third film to generate buzz[17] and it is also included with the movie's home video release.[18]

Cast and crew[edit]


Character Films
Pitch Black The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury The Chronicles of Riddick Riddick
2000 2004 2004 2013
Richard B. Riddick Vin Diesel
Jack B. Badd / Kyra Rhiana Griffith Alexa Davalos
Abu "Imam" al-Walid Keith David
Carolyn Fry Radha Mitchell
William J. Johns Cole Hauser
Paris P. Ogilvie Lewis Fitz-Gerald
Sharon "Shazza" Montgomery Claudia Black
John "Zeke" Ezekiel John Moore
Greg Owens Simon Burke
Alexander Toombs Nick Chinlund
Junner Roger L. Jackson
Antonia Chillingsworth Tress MacNeille
Siberius Vaako Karl Urban
Zhylaw / Lord Marshal Colm Feore
Aereon Judi Dench
Dame Vaako Thandiwe Newton
Purifier Linus Roache
The Guv Yorick van Wageningen
Lajjun Kim Hawthorne
Eve Logan Christina Cox
Colonel R. "Boss" Johns Matt Nable
Santana Jordi Mollà
Dahl Katee Sackhoff
Diaz Dave Bautista
Moss Bokeem Woodbine
Lockspur Raoul Trujillo
Vargas Conrad Pla
Luna Nolan Gerard Funk
Krone Andreas Apergis


Role Film
Pitch Black The Chronicles of Riddick Riddick Riddick 4: Furya
2000 2004 2013 TBA
Director David Twohy
Producer(s) Tom Engelman Vin Diesel & Scott Kroopf Ted Field & Vin Diesel TBA
Writer(s) Ken Wheats, Jim Wheats & David Twohy David Twohy
Composer(s) Graeme Revell TBA
Cinematographer(s) David Eggby Hugh Johnson David Eggby TBA
Editor(s) Rick Shane Tracy Adams, Martin Hunter & Dennis Virkler Tracy Adams TBA
Production company(s) Gramercy Pictures
Interscope Communications
Polygram Filmed Entertainment
Radar Pictures
One Race Films
Distributor USA Films Universal Pictures
Runtime 109 minutes 135 minutes 119 minutes TBA
Release date February 18, 2000 June 11, 2004 September 6, 2013 TBA


  • Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel), more commonly known as Riddick, is the protagonist of the series. He is shown to be a highly skilled predator, extremely mobile and stealthy, has a vast knowledge of how to kill almost any humanoid in a variety of ways, is an extreme survivalist, and is notoriously hard to contain. He is also self-admittedly a dangerous convict and murderer, yet despite this, he is sometimes shown to perform moral or even atypically heroic actions, usually against his own better judgment and survivalist nature. Riddick is a Furyan, a member of a warrior race obliterated by a military campaign that left Furya desolate, and is one of the last of his kind. One of his most defining features are his eyes, a characteristic inherent in a certain caste of his species (The Alpha-Furyans), although he implies in Pitch Black that they were "shined" by a back-alley surgical operation. This allows him to see in the dark with no difficulty at all, but also renders his eyes incredibly sensitive to concentrated light, therefore he wears tinted welding goggles for protection. Riddick was once a mercenary, then part of a security force,[19] and later on a soldier. He is also an experienced pilot.
  • Carolyn Fry (Radha Mitchell), is a docking pilot for the commercial transport ship Hunter-Gratzner. She has a moment of moral weakness during the emergency landing attempt, intending to sacrifice the ship's passenger section to save herself. A relationship develops between Fry and Johns, until she finds out who he really is. the group, now down to Riddick, Fry, Jack and Imam, finds shelter inside a cave not far from the settlement. Riddick leaves them there and takes the power cells to the dropship. Inside the cave, they discover bio-luminescent worms, which they stuff in bottles to use as light. Fry leaves the cave and finds Riddick powering up the ship, ready to leave without them. She pleads with him to help her rescue the others, but instead he just offers to take her with him. Eventually, Riddick has a change of heart, and they return for Imam and Jack and take them to the ship, but Riddick is separated from the group and wounded by the predators. Fry goes back to help Riddick but is killed after finding him.
  • William J. Johns (Cole Hauser) is a war veteran and mercenary who was trusted to track down Riddick after he escaped from Slam City and the primary human antagonist of Pitch Black. He captured Riddick and brought him to Butcher Bay, but upon discovering that he could not get as much of a reward as he wanted, helped Riddick escape. The Johns Chase Log on the Pitch Black special features tells of the events afterward: Riddick stabs Johns and leaves him for dead. Johns becomes a morphine addict after having it prescribed to him because of the wound, and then chases Riddick down while also avoiding other mercenaries on Riddick's trail. He eventually catches Riddick on the planet Aquila Major (featured in the opening scene of Chronicles of Riddick) by killing two children and threatening to kill two more unless Riddick surrenders. He gets a seat on the transport vessel Hunter Gratzner, which crashes onto Hades in Pitch Black. After the crash, Johns convinces the survivors to help him hunt down Riddick. Johns initially disbelieves Riddick’s claims of the bio-raptors. After their discovery, Johns makes a deal with Riddick, so they could work together to survive. Riddick ultimately betrays Johns when Johns decides to use Jack as bait for the bio-raptors, resulting in Johns and Riddick fighting. Johns is defeated and left to the bio-raptors, one of which attacks Johns and rips him apart.
  • Abu "Imam" al-Walid (Keith David) is an Imam who was looking for New Mecca when the Hunter-Gratzner crashed in Pitch Black. He was traveling with three young boys and despite everything he went through, including the deaths of the boys, he never lost his faith and believed there was goodness in Riddick. Imam was one of the three survivors of the first movie along with Jack and Riddick.
  • Jack B. Badd/Kyra (Rhiana Griffith and Alexa Davalos) is a character from the first two Riddick movies (See above). In Pitch Black she went by the name Jack after the crash of the Hunter-Gratzner and pretended to be a boy so that everyone would take her seriously. Jack befriended Riddick and was enamoured by him. In Chronicles of Riddick, it is revealed that Riddick left her with Imam behind on Helion Prime. Wanting to find Riddick, she joined a mercenary crew, got caught and got sent to one of the worst prisons in existence: Crematoria. According to what she told Riddick later, she did what he said in an attempt to get the eye-shine like him: she killed a few people, got sent to a prison where it's said you can never escape from but couldn't find a doctor that could do an eye-shine.
  • Siberius Vaako (Karl Urban) is a Necromonger Commander from The Chronicles of Riddick, serving as Zhylaw's right-hand man. Though sent to kill Riddick, confused of his leader's sudden fear, Vaako uses it as an excuse to get close enough to assassinate Zhylaw to become Lord Marshal. However, once the chance to kill Zhylaw presents itself, Riddick beats Vaako to the punch and becomes Lord Marshal. But when Riddick eventually renounces the title and gives it to him in exchange to for an escort to take him to Furya, unbeknownst to Vaako, instead of Furya, his lieutenant takes Riddick to the planet where Riddick takes place and tries to assassinate him as the lieutenant disagrees with what he perceives to be a weakness on the part of Vaako.
  • Alexander Toombs (Nick Chinlund) is the mercenary from Chronicles of Riddick and Dark Fury. Toombs is shown to be highly arrogant and incompetent, failing to capture Riddick and having his ship stolen from him, and once again being humiliated during Riddick's escape from Crematoria. Toombs was last seen locked inside the Crematoria kennels surrounded by vicious guard dog-creatures. His current status is unknown, but it can be assumed that he was never rescued and is most likely dead.
  • Zhylaw or Lord Marshal (Colm Feore) is the main antagonist of Chronicles of Riddick. Before Riddick's birth, Zhylaw consulted an Elemental seer, who told him that a Furyan male would be born that would kill him in the future. In retaliation, Zhylaw attacked Furya in an attempt to massacre all male children, going so far as to personally strangle newborn infants with their own umbilical cords. He strangled Riddick with his umbilical cord and believed him dead but Riddick actually survived. At some point, he traveled to the Underverse and afterwards returned not completely human. He is referred to by the Necromongers as the "Holy Half-Dead" and possesses powers such as incredible strength, the ability to pull souls from bodies and to separate his soul partially from his body and then pull his body where his soul is, resulting in a kind of super-speed that makes him hard to hit.
  • Shirah (Kristin Lehman) is a Furyan seen in the Director's Cut of The Chronicles of Riddick. and the video game The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay.
  • Purifier (Linus Roache) was a member of the Necromonger fleet. It is revealed that he, too, was Furyan like Riddick, before being converted. When Riddick falls unconscious after fighting the Necromonger soldiers chasing him, the Purifier pulls him into the safety of the hangar and tells Riddick, "We all began as something else". Regretting what he has done under a faith he did not believe in, the Purifier tells Riddick that the Furyan in him hopes that Riddick goes after the Lord Marshal, before committing suicide by walking into the sunlight of Crematoria.
  • Pope Joe (Willis Burks II) is a hermit, and former Bovine Veterinarian, that lives in the sewers of Butcher Bay. After Riddick retrieved his radio from the sewers, he heals Riddick, and is credited with giving him his "eyeshine" that he uses throughout the franchise to see in the dark, but may not be the actual source, as the prior information comes from the 2004 videogame The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, which may or may not be canon.
  • R. "Boss" Johns (Matt Nable) is William J. John’s father and a mercenary, who seeks revenge on Riddick for his son's death.


Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Box office gross Production budget Reference
North America Other territories Worldwide
Pitch Black February 18, 2000 (2000-02-18) $39,240,659 $13,947,000 $53,187,659 $23 million [20]
The Chronicles of Riddick June 11, 2004 (2004-06-11) $57,761,012 $58,011,721 $115,772,733 $105 million [21]
Riddick September 6, 2013 (2013-09-06) $42,025,135 $56,312,160 $98,337,295 $38 million [22]
Total $139,026,806 $128,270,881 $267,297,687 $166 million

Critical and public response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Pitch Black 59% (109 reviews)[23] 49 (29 reviews)[24]
The Chronicles of Riddick 29% (165 reviews)[25] 38 (34 reviews)[26] B[27]
Riddick 57% (168 reviews)[28] 49 (35 reviews)[29] B[27]


  1. ^ "'Riddick': Sci-fi Western". September 24, 2013.
  2. ^ Kit, Borys (September 4, 2013). "Vin Diesel's Shrewd Move: Trading 'Fast & Furious' Cameo to Own 'Riddick' Rights". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  3. ^ Twohy, David (November 13, 2007). "11.13.07-THE STRIKE and THE NEXT RIDDICK". David Twohy News. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  4. ^ Williamson, Kevin (August 4, 2009). "Diesel hit opens door for Riddick sequel". Ottawa Sun. Archived from the original on August 5, 2009. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  5. ^ Adler, Shawn (August 25, 2008). "Vin Diesel Promises Two More Riddick Sequels". MTV Movies Blog. MTV (Viacom International Inc.). Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  6. ^ Han, Angie (January 28, 2014). "Universal Wants A 'Riddick' Sequel, Says Vin Diesel". /Film. Retrieved February 13, 2023.
  7. ^ "Riddick 4: Furya Shoots in 2017; Is an R-Rated Origin Story". May 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  8. ^ Evangelista, Chris (July 23, 2019). "The 'Riddick 4' Script Is Done, Just In Case Anyone Other Than Vin Diesel Wants To See It". /Film. Retrieved February 13, 2023.
  9. ^ "Everything We Know About Riddick 4". Screen Rant. May 18, 2022.
  10. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (February 11, 2023). "Vin Diesel, David Twohy Reunite For 'Riddick: Furya': Hot EFM Title". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 11, 2023.
  11. ^ "Riddick - The Merc Files". Retrieved July 18, 2015.
  12. ^ Cotter, Padraig (September 5, 2021). "Into Pitch Black Is Syfy's Forgotten TV Sequel With Vin Diesel's Riddick". Screen Rant. Retrieved February 12, 2023.
  13. ^ "Twohy Readies Kyra Pilot". June 7, 2004. Archived from the original on June 7, 2004.
  14. ^ "Riddick 4 and TV Show Spinoff Announced by Vin Diesel". 26 February 2017. December 2015.
  15. ^ The Making of Riddick: Blindsided. Vimeo. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
  16. ^ Riddick Blindsided Motion Comic HD. YouTube. September 3, 2013. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
  17. ^ McMillan, Graeme (2013-07-29). " 'Riddick' Gets 'Blindsided' with Movie Prequel Motion Comic." Retrieved 2014-02-06.
  18. ^ Rawden, Jessica (2013-11-17). "Riddick and Riddick: The Complete Collection Hitting Blu-Ray and DVD in January." Retrieved 2014-02-06.
  19. ^ The Chronicles of Riddick, Special Features
  20. ^ "Pitch Black". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  21. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  22. ^ "Riddick". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  23. ^ "Pitch Black". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  24. ^ "Pitch Black Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  25. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  26. ^ "The Chronicles of Riddick Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  27. ^ a b "CinemaScore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on April 13, 2022. Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  28. ^ "Kingsman: Riddick". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  29. ^ "Riddick Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 8, 2019.

External links[edit]