It was “Riddick’s” turn after the cast and writers of “Kick-Ass 2” left the stage during Universal Pictures’ Friday panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2013.
Writer and director David Twohy took the stage first to introduce the actors. First came “Battlestar Galactica’s” Katee Sackhoff, who plays Dahl in the sequel. Her arrival was accompanied by action-packed footage from the new movie. Judging by the crowd’s reaction she’s clearly a fan favorite.
“Science fiction fans are the most loyal fans in the world,” Sackhoff says of fans of her roles in “Riddick” and “Battlestar Galactica.” She said the most important thing for her when picking a project is that it’s something she would see, and she’s been a fan of “Pitch Black” and the “Riddick” series from the beginning. She also loved that Dahl “makes no apologies.” “With Dahl there was no vulnerability other than that she was a woman,” she says. “And I got to shoot really big guns. That’s always fun for me. I think my gun was the biggest one.”
Next came Vin Diesel, who portrays the title character. “What happened to me?” Riddick asks in the footage from the film that accompanied Diesel’s arrival onstage. “Somewhere along the way I got civilized. Gotta find that animal side again.” Sci-fi monsters and dramatic, alien landscapes fill the footage.
“Let’s just get to the good stuff,” Twohy says as more footage began to play. The trailer shown at Comic-Con includes plenty of hints for fans as to what’s coming in the sequel. “Whatever, happens, no matter what they tell you, when the chains come off, you go in the first five seconds,” Riddick says to a captor in the footage. And sure enough, his chains come off, and he delivers on that promise by sending a blade careening through the air directly through his captor’s head using a well-aimed kick.
Diesel also spoke to Comic-Con attendees about his love of Dungeons & Dragons. “It was this wonderful game,” he says. “We would all act out these characters that we were playing and it didn’t take more than a couple of hours before you really believed you were this witch hunter.” He said his role-playing experience has helped him be a “DM,” or dungeon master, for the “Riddick” series.
When Twohy brought “Pitch Black” to Comic-Con over a decade ago, he says, he never could have imagined that they’d be back thirteen years later with yet another film based in the same universe. “Nobody knew what the movie was, nobody knew he we were, but you know what? It turned out all right,” he explains.
The third “Riddick” film is really a sequel to both the last two “Riddick” films and to “Pitch Black.” “It was both kind of daunting and liberating” when they realized that the film would be released independently rather than through a studio, Twohy said. “We finally settled in on a survival story.”
Asked what drives the character Riddick, Diesel grunted ominously. “When I watch the Riddick character, there’s a part of me that feels guilty for having such a darkness in that character,” he jokes during the Q&A portion. “And I look at what he’s doing and I go, ‘That wasn’t cool. You shouldn’t have killed that guy.'”
One fan explained that the “Riddick” films helped him overcome his fear of darkness and even inspired him to ambush his friends with a plastic knife as a child. He asked Diesel how he can be as big a bada** as him. “I am seeing a level of bada** growing in you as we speak,” Diesel jokes.
The final question of the panel touched on Diesel’s involvement in the upcoming Marvel universe films. Diesel couldn’t reveal anything, though he seemed like he wanted to.
“There is some very big news coming at the end of this month,” Diesel teased.
“Riddick” hits theaters September 6 2013.
[Note: The trailer below is unrated and may not be appropriate for all audiences.]