Riddick 4 Needs To Copy Fast & Furious To Avoid A Vin Diesel Problem
Vin Diesel’s upcoming Riddick 4 needs to make use of one of the qualities of the Fast & Furious franchise in order to avoid an ongoing problem. The Riddick franchise started back in 2000 with Pitch Black, with the character of notorious murderer and anti-hero Richard B. Riddick becoming one of Vin Diesel’s breakout roles. However, attempting to take the character to new places in the 2004 sequel The Chronicles of Riddick backfired with negative reviews and box office failure. Scaling the franchise back again for 2013’s Riddick was a wise choice for Diesel, and the film was a moderate success, but the franchise simply hasn’t achieved the success Diesel was aiming for.
One of Vin Diesel’s other early ’00s breakout roles – Dominic Toretto in the Fast & Furious franchise – proved to be far more lucrative for the actor. After his initial appearance in The Fast and the Furious, Diesel declined to appear in its sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious, in favor of The Chronicles of Riddick. In fact, Diesel’s return to the franchise came as the result of a deal in which he was given the rights to the character of Riddick – something which has proven doubly fruitful for the actor, as the Fast & Furious movies have cemented his status as a Hollywood icon, while Riddick remains a particularly promising franchise awaiting his return.
However, for the Riddick franchise’s upcoming movie, Vin Diesel needs to use one franchise’s success to inform the other. So far, the Riddick movies have failed to deliver on their true potential, but using the Fast & Furious franchise’s trick of constantly transforming and adapting to reinvigorate the Riddick movies could help Riddick 4 achieve more tangible success. Fast & Furious’s shift in narrative focus and genre, from street-level thriller to high-stakes heist, has made it one of cinema’s most successful franchises, capable of appealing to a variety of audiences. Borrowing the idea behind this change could help Riddick 4 be the movie that turns the franchise around by reframing its narrative using new and innovative ideas, expanding beyond its established sci-fi roots.
The original The Fast and the Furious was primarily a crime drama framed by its use of a close-knit gang of street racers, but as the franchise wore on, its sequels evolved to better embrace the high-octane action that it has since become known for. From Fast Five, the Fast & Furious franchise was almost unrecognizable, adapting in order to include an ever-growing ensemble cast, larger-than-life heists, and death-defying stunts in every installment. This ability to gently shift focus to rework the entire premise is something that the Riddick movies also need, albeit in an entirely different way.
The idea that the Riddick movies are unsuccessful is actually not entirely true. Both Pitch Black and Riddick were moderate successes, and though The Chronicles of Riddick was not well-received, it still bolstered interest in its world and in the wider Riddick franchise. This means that the upcoming Riddick 4 is actually in a far stronger position than it may seem at a glance, and all it would take is a slight tweak of previous movies’ formula in order to secure genuine success for the Riddick franchise’s future.
Of course, with Fast & Furious 10 & 11 ending the Fast Saga, Vin Diesel may well turn his attention entirely towards the Riddick movies. Should this be the case, it would only require the same energy and attention that he’s put into the Fast & Furious movies to make Riddick more successful at the box office. As Diesel has proven that he’s a star capable of turning a franchise around by making necessary changes to its formula (or even its genre), it would seem that Riddick 4 only needs to employ this same trick to fix its future.
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