Phase9 Entertainment

THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK - Q&A with director David Twohy

Movie Interview by Neils Hesse

What is the genesis of this movie, how did you decide to do it?

Well after PITCH BLACK we wrote a follow up and Universal said that it was too big and would be costly. They also felt that at the time PITCH BLACK did well but not that well. After a while the DVD sales for PITCH BLACK did very well and after 3 to 4 years they came back to me saying "We would like to see that stuff you wrote up for the follow up now, please".

Why do you think that Riddick is so popular as a character?

Well he is an anti-hero, he thinks about himself and I guess these days you do not see much of that in American movies, so it is interesting to see it in him.

From PITCH BLACK to THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK is Vin more confident now?

Well he was involved even in the first one, he is just more involved now.

Have you noticed any changes in Vin?

Well he is also producing this one, although it is more of a creative role to protect the essence of the film and character so he is flexing his mental muscles.

Any changes in yourself seeing as this is a much bigger film?

The funny thing is it is just like making a small movie just more people involved but technically it is the same, just that this time there is not time to spend with the actors. One way to solve this is to sleep 4 hours instead of 8. Being the writer as well it makes it easier for me to answer questions about the characters and story.

How did you expand the character of Riddick?

Well we wished to expand on his Furian origin, which we explore briefly in this one.

Given the title "Chronicles" it sounds like there may be more? But given the slam-dunk miss it had at the US Box office is this still a possibility?

Well it depends on the international box office and the future DVD sales. But story wise and character wise we are certain of what we want to do in any future films.

So why did you choose Alexa Davalos for the pivotal female lead?

A lot of actors that we auditioned were tough but too tough, she was inherently sympathetic so I felt that we could toughen her up so she would have all the qualities that we wanted and we did just that.

It is a big surprise to see Judi Dench in this film did you have any doubts in getting her?

It was Vin's idea and we had this role that was not sexually based it could be done by a woman or a man, so we tag teamed her, he sent her flowers and I would stop by and see her show whenever I was in London. I think she was not happy that Maggie Smith is taller than her and they were appearing on the same stage. So she asked if I could make her seem taller. [Everybody laughs].

Why Thandie Newton?

Her beauty and her talent basically that was it. It was a mutual coming together.

Is anything possible with all this special effects now?

Well there is a point that is called "uncanny valley" this is where the effects seem real and reach 95% of reality but it just comes across as creepy like the depiction of humans in FINAL FANTASY it was good but not good enough so it just felt creepy. This is one area we cannot effectively recreate and as long as there are actors around there should not be a need for it.