The last time David Twohy came to Comic-Con was 13 years ago with a low-budget movie called Pitch Black starring an actor named Vin Diesel. A lot has changed since.
Comic-Con has grown exponentially into a raging pop culture event. Diesel turned into a A-lister who then faded and made a comeback. Black became a cult hit, was followed by a massive sequel that failed, and now is back as Twohy, Diesel and Universal try to relaunch a franchise.
“I couldn’t even dream of this,” said Twohy.
Riddick is not a studio picture but a negative pick-up for Universal. That act made it “daunting and liberating” said Twohy.
“Our creative meetings were in Vin’s kitchen, I sat on the counter … it made everything very streamlined.
Twohy wrote the script on spec and the movie raised financing at Berlin’s European Film Market. Universal came back on board to distribute.
Diesel said that the tentpole nature necessitated the second movie be PG-13, but this one contains more R-rated fare.
“When the audience wanted it rated R, we knew we didn’t have to spend $200 million to make this movie,” said Diesel, which helped lower the risk.
And the early buzz is that the movie pays tribute to the low-key original and the epic mythology introduced in the sequel.
“I think we did good job of paying off past debts and moving it into new territories,” said Twohy.
Diesel also spoke of his own personal changes since making the initial Riddick movie. The actor is now a father and admitted to having (occasional) second thoughts when it comes to Riddick and his actions.
“I feel guilty for having such a darkness in that character. Now I go, ‘That wasn't needed, you shouldn’t have killed that guy.’ It’s only because I have kids now."
Diesel also was asked in a roundabout way if he were going to play The Vision in Marvel’s The Avengers 2.
Diesel laughed and commented on how he couldn’t believe that the last question at the panel was the one question he wasn’t allowed to answer.
“There is some big news coming at the end of the month,” he said before adding, “Poor Marvel. Poor Marvel.”