THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK is one of my favorite SF films of the last decade, even though it’s a mad jumble of elements: wanted criminal Riddick, last of the Furyons, necromongers, scheming for a throne, a strange underworld, and ethereal sprites played by Judi Dench. As I wrote in my original review, it was confusing, but had tons of imagination. It was also a passion project for star Vin Diesel and director David Twohy, and following the economical original hit PITCH BLACK, they had plans for a grand three-film saga that would take Riddick on universe and reality-spanning adventure.

Unfortunately, THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK didn’t do so well at the box office when it came out in 2004, got awful reviews, and the only sequel was a video game and direct-to-DVD animated movie. But Diesel never gave up on the character, and he’s back—with Twohy, who has made only a single movie since CHRONICLES—in this year’s Riddick, which is, again a lower-budget, stripped down film more akin to PITCH BLACK.

But if you are a fan of THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, then you have to wonder what happened after the end of the film, when Riddick unexpectedly found himself the ruler of the empire he’d been fighting, King Conan style and how it leads to the back-as-a-criminal Riddick of the new film.

And we have an answer. And it’s a motion comic.

One quirk of this motion comic is that it isn’t actually based on a comic. So it’s a actually a limited animation thingie sequel/prequel that someone tagged a motion comic. Whatever.

The D&D loving Diesel has been very devoted to his franchise, and took a pay cut to make a new Riddick film, so think of this as a budget-conscious way to bridge the gap.

Reading the press previews of Riddick, it seems there is still not a lotta love for CHRONICLES—although the director’s cut Blu-Ray has some fans. In an era when anything that ever existed has been turned into a comic book and a series of Neca action figures, it seems it’s that rarest thing: an actual cult film that hasn’t been blown out of proportion. And that’s how I like it.


  1. I also love Chronicles and Vin Diesel’s commitment to the character. (It’s one of those movies that I will stop and watch if I come across it while channel surfing — so much great dialogue and so many novel S/F ideas. Toombs really should have taken the deal.) The motion comic helps with the story transition from head Necromonger to fugitive, but I hope there’s a chance to return to the larger universe in the future.

  2. I’ve always loved the Chronicles of Riddick too. It is a weird movie, but it is a lot of fun and it certainly doesn’t lack in ambition. Does it try to bite off more than in can chew? Just a bit, but at least they tried. I always like to think of it as a “Space Conan” (while respecting that Conan and Riddick are completely different characters).

    While it has been a long time since I watched it, I seem to remember the female roles being quite good, with Thandie Newton and Karl Urban doing a sort of Necromonger Macbeth/Lady Macbeth double act and Alexis Davalos as …her character name escapes me…Riddick’s sidekick from Pitch Black.

    Not a classic, but a pretty solid way to spend two hours.

  3. Chronicles of Riddick did , in total $115 mil in theatres . The film cost $105. the movie itself did great in video sales. The first day it came out in dvd and for rentals it made 1.5 million dollars. Its been a popular dvd and blu-ray and has sold to movie channels and such. If the final math makes sense, it also makes sense to release a 3rd movie, gaining a new audience and boosting sales of the last two with box sets and a massive amount of rentals. Final math is the way to figure these things out. It’s never just Box office.

  4. Glad to see this piece, Heidi! I saw the motion “comic” a week or so ago, and it answered the big question: sequel or prequel? Sequel, it is!

    And thanks for being among the few who connected Riddick to Conan, because all the stories really are “Conan in outer space,” without the baggage of having to do anything more than any of the original Conan stories, novellas, or the novel.

    It’s a story about a very tough guy in worlds that are often tougher than he is, and how brawn, courage, and brains gets him through…barely.

    Anybody comparing these films to Alien, Aliens, or any of the other “creatures from another planet” films isn’t paying attention to the archetype of Riddick vs all the rest of them.

    It’s just like the people who compared Romancing the Stone to Raiders of the Lost Ark, like one film could corner the market on adventure movies. Same with Riddick. Now, if you want to compare him to Nothwest Smith (C.L. Moore), that’s a conversation I’d love to have.

    I cannot wait till this film comes out.

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