Warning: This post reveals minor details of a scene from Fifty Shades Darker.
Apparently, Christian Grey’s darkest secret isn’t that he’s into bondage and submission; it’s that he’s the world’s biggest Chronicles of Riddick fan. A plus-sized poster for that 2004 Vin Diesel-starring space opera — the sequel to the 2000 cult hit, Pitch Black, which originally introduced the character of Richard P. Riddick — is glimpsed hanging in Christian’s childhood bedroom in a key scene of Fifty Shades Darker. The poster’s prominent placement is at once both baffling and brilliant, suggesting that the super-stoic Grey (played by Jamie Dornan in the Fifty Shades film series) is a big ol’ sci-fi nerd at heart.
Dornan revealed how the Riddick shout-out came to be in a recent interview with Kevin McCarthy, an entertainment journalist with Fox 5 in Washington D.C. (Watch the interview above.) According to the Irish actor, the Fifty Shades art department approached him with several options for movie posters that might adorn Christian’s walls. Besides being a Universal production — the same studio that’s releasing Fifty Shades Darker and next year’s trilogy-capper, Fifty Shades Freed — The Chronicles of Riddick‘s 2004 release date also squares with the Fifty Shades timeline. The first film, released in 2015, established Christian as being 27 years old, putting him at 16 when Chronicles bowed in theaters. That also means he would have been 12 when he saw the R-rated Pitch Black for the first time, suggesting that his adoptive parents were pretty liberal when it came to family movie night.
Written and directed by Pitch Black helmer David Twohy, The Chronicles of Riddick attempted to expand the scope of the original movie, placing Diesel’s hero at the center of an intergalactic battle between two alien races. Intended as a franchise-launcher for a series of solo Riddick adventures, Chronicles wound up being a box office disappointment, grossing only $57 million in a competitive summer movie season dominated by sequels like Spider-Man 2 and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. (Diesel and Twohy revived the character one more time in 2013’s Riddick, which returned the franchise to its low-budget roots and earned an equally modest $42 million.)
Watch the trailer for ‘Riddick:’
But Fifty Shades Darker indicates that Christian Grey, at least, was a repeat ticket buyer during the summer of 2004. In the same Fox 5 interview, Dornan offers up another reason for his decision to turn Christian’s room into a modest shrine to The Chronicles of Riddick. “Some stuff I thought would be kind of funny,” he remarks with a smile. He’s right; at the press screening Yahoo Movies attended, the audience cracked up at Riddick’s surprise cameo. It also has the added effect of humanizing a character whose personality has always seemed a little one-note. The thought of nerdy teen fanboy Christian eagerly watching and re-watching Chronicles — and perhaps even writing his own Riddick fan-fiction — makes us think he’s the right companion for a literary dork like Anastasia Steele after all.
Watch the ‘Fifty Shades’ trailer:
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- ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Premiere: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, and Kim Basinger on the Red Carpet
- Oh, My Inner Goddess! ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Trailer Introduces Kim Basinger as ‘Mrs. Robinson’