Exclusive : Riddick begins casting; character descriptions

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”Riddick” , writer/director David Twohy’s long-awaited second sequel to ”Pitch Black”, is finally headed before the cameras with Vin Diesel back under the shades as the intergalactic rebel rouser.

Heard today that casting has begun, with casting director Anne McCarthy, who cast “Pitch Black” and “Chronicles of Riddick” but also James Wan’s “Insidious”, bringing in actors to test for the supporting roles. I know one of the actors going in for the film – not too difficult to work out who – and everything he/she has been told so far is that it’s an exciting project with big-time potential.

Here’s who they’re scouting for at the moment :

Boss Johns
Santana
the sexy female merc Dahl
The smug commander Krone

All good parts. Fun stuff in there.

The script for the film, which is a more tighter, intimate and suspenseful ride than the previous film in the series (”Chronicles of Riddick”), might just be perfect – but I won’t be reviewing it, just giving you the heads up on what Twohy’s got in store for us and my take on it.

In a nutshell, the movie sees Riddick back on a barren planet, surrounded by monsters and mercenaries – both species who want him dead and vice versa.
Though there’s a couple of potential cameos from previous Riddick movie faves, it’s mostly fresh blood this time surrounding the big guy. And speaking of fresh, the character seems to have gotten a welcome, kick-ass overhaul….he’s more brutal, bad-ass and virile (as some may say) than he was in the previous films.

There’s a real sense of fun here. The dialogue is delicious and the characters are not only memorable, they’re a blast to be around – particularly our hero whose discovered both a charming sense of humour and personality along the way.

More so, ”Riddick” is a direct sequel to ”Pitch Black” – the events tie into that film. In much the same way the upcoming ”Dark Knight Rises” will tie up any loose threads and plot points from Batman Begins, Riddick will return to the mystery and monsters at the centre of ”Pitch Black.” That’s a good thing because, let’s admit it, the original rocked.. the sequel sucked.

Not to say there isn’t a link to the last Riddick adventure.

After a brief introduction in which were reunited with Riddick, surrounded by monsters, on a barren planet… we flash back to how Riddick ended up there.

We meet LORD MARSHAL Riddick. Nobody much likes that Riddick’s royalty now (he loves it; he gets to screw hot chicks) – as evident by the assassins that try and take him out at any and every opportunity – especially the necromancers, who are dead against the anointment of a furyan as a leader.

In exchange for the title, Riddick’s reluctant right-hand man and necro Vaako (Karl Urban’s character from the previous film; Urban will likely do it since the character is only in it for a short while) agrees to drop Riddick off at his home, Furya.

One thing leads to another and, much like the first film, Riddick finds himself stranded on a monster-infested planet. Instead of it leading to a rescue mission, his distress beacon catches the attention of a couple of merc teams (it would seem Vaako had dispatched them to kill Riddick while he’s isolated; not entirely true) who go after him with ill intentions.
One of the teams is lead by someone connected to an old enemy… someone from ”Pitch Black”.

*SPOILER*

Someone with the surname ‘Johns’.
Boss Johns and subordinate Santana ultimately get their hands on Riddick and shackle him up where they plan on torturing (Santana, with his machete) and killing him. But before then, Boss Johns wants answers – mostly, he wants to know what really happened to his son – William J. Johns (Cole Hauser in Pitch Black), who, with his prisoner Riddick, crash landed on an alien planet and (unlike Riddick) didn’t return. Knowing Boss Johns will never believe what happened to his son (indistinguishable monsters), Riddick snaps back with a cheeky retort involving felacio.

*END SPOILER *

And of course, that one works out in Riddick’s favour too – as does the rest of his run-ins with the mercenaries. If Riddick doesn’t get ’em, the monsters do.

There’s not much of a mention of Furya (and no mention of the Underverse) but there’s a sequence involving a fellow countryman (Alpha Kid – He’s about 12-years-old and is, with his oversized armour and assault rifle, not unlike one of those young guerrilla soldiers in Somalia. Mother was murdered. His eyes light up like Riddick’s. He has some magical powers; thinking this could be young Riddick) and a flashback and mention of Radha Mitchell’s character.

We’ll let you know who snags the roles here, they should be locked in within the next few weeks, and continue to update you on the film’s progress; I think this is going to be a wildly entertaining ride kids.