'Battlestar Galactica' vet Katee Sackhoff and director David Twohy also on hand
SAN DIEGO - 13 years ago David Twohy brought his little known Sci-Fi thriller "Pitch Black" to Comic-Con. Today, he returned for the third installment in what's became an unexpected franchise, "Riddick." Oh, and along for the ride was none other than Vin Diesel and genre fan favorite Katee Sackhoff ("Battlestar Galactica").
Following 2004's disappointing "Chronicles of Riddick," Twohy told a packed Hall H crowd that "Riddick" should return the series to the character driven focus of "Black" while staying true to the mythology of the series touched upon in "Chronicles."
Diesel, is either a man of few words or many (and much more intelligent than he's given credit for). When HitFix's own Drew McWeeny, the panel's moderator, asked him wither his love for role playing games influenced his performance, Diesel replied with an epic answer.
"Very much so. Dungeons and Dragons was a training ground for my imagination in so many ways. I have friends in Hollywood and tease me that say I'm attempting to DM Hollywood," Diesel jokes. "When we played Dungeons and Dragons I'd already started acting. It was this wonderful game before there was Blizzard. We would all act out these characters we were playing and it wouldn't take more than a couple of hours before you believed you were this witch hunter and the dice you were rolling was really your dragon. The fantasy world I was immersed in played it self out in how I approached the mythology."
Diesel continues, "How did we succeed in honoring both the mythology of 'Chronicles of Riddick' and the core character drive of 'Pitch Black'? I would assume that DH approach to that helped us. We really enjoyed the idea we were expanding this mythology."
The "Fast and Furious" star also touched upon how bringing the "Riddick" in at an R-rating actually gave them more creative freedom to make the movie they wanted to make.
"In order to do a film of that size and budget we had to go PG-13," Diesel says of "Chronicles." "We had a long period of time where we couldn't get this movie made and we were telling the studio a core audience connected to and we as artists connected. Making this movie rated R helped us get this movie made. Why am I telling you that? Because one of the thing is we are really proud of is the film main styles the style and temp of Pitch Black while still following the mythology. If you have been following eventually you will end up in the underverse."
That reference to a fourth film and the "underverse" seemed to go over the audience's head. One panel member who turned heads in her incredibly outfit was Sackhoff. Best known for her role as Starbuck on "BSG," Sackhoff says she loved playing another tough character in Doll.
"I loved how strong she was. I loved how she didn't really apologize for anything," Sackhoff says. "I didn't see a weakness in her. I usually play a vulnerability. There was no vulnerability in her except that she was a woman. And I got to shoot lots of big guns. I think my gun was the biggest one."
An audience member asked how difficult it is for Diesel to do action scenes and, again, he gave quite the answer.
"Nothing comes easy when I'm in character because everything I do in character I take seriously. I was just traveling around the world talking about Dom Toretto and Don Toretto is a character who has a certain amount of anger, but ultimately love and a sense of family. Now that I have kids, when I watch the Riddick character there is a part of me that feels guilty for having such a darkness in that character. That wasn't cool. You shouldn't have killed that guy!"
As the crowd laughs, Diesel pauses and then continues, "That classic fight I had between Dwayne Johnson and myself that was a fight that we fought over five days, but what was so taxing was all the emotional component to that fight sequence. It's so often about what the emotion is behind it and how willing you are to really, really challenge that emotion or take that emotion to that place so you're feeling a certain intensity to that physical scene."
Before the panel ended, one last question from the audience teased the box office superstar asking him: What is your Vision for making a Marvel movie?
The audience roared clearly knowing about Diesel's publicly acknowledged meeting with Marvel Studios.
"I will say there is some very big news coming at the end of this month," Diesel added smiling, adding, "Poor Marvel, poor, poor Marvel"
Look for more on "Riddick" later today on HitFix.