For Riddick 4 to avoid a Vin Diesel issue, it must imitate Fast & Furious.

In order to prevent a recurring issue, Vin Diesel’s forthcoming Riddick 4 must use one of the Fast & Furious franchise’s strengths. With the release of Pitch Black in 2000, the Riddick series began, with Vin Diesel’s breakthrough performance as legendary killer and anti-hero Richard B. Riddick. However, the 2004 sequel The Chronicles of Riddick’s effort to expand the character’s horizons backfired with unfavourable reviews and a box revenue flop. Diesel made a sensible decision to scale down the series once again for 2013’s Riddick, and the movie was a decent hit, but the franchise hasn’t quite found the popularity Diesel was hoping for.

The Fast & Furious franchise’s Dominic Toretto character turned out to be one of Vin Diesel’s other early 2000s breakthrough roles, and it was far more profitable for the actor. Diesel opted to feature in The Chronicles of Riddick after making his debut in The Fast and the Furious, declining to do so in its sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious.

In fact, Diesel’s return to the franchise was made possible by a deal in which he was granted the rights to the character of Riddick. This was advantageous for the actor on two fronts: first, the Fast & Furious films solidified his status as a Hollywood legend, and second, Riddick is still a particularly exciting franchise that is eagerly awaiting his return.

Vin Diesel must, however, draw on the success of one series in order to shape the future Riddick film. The Riddick movies haven’t lived up to their full promise up to this point, but Riddick 4 may succeed more significantly if it adopts the Fast & Furious franchise’s strategy of perpetual change and adaptation. Fast & Furious has become one of the most popular series in film, able to appeal to a wide range of people, thanks to its change in narrative emphasis and genre from street-level thriller to high-stakes robbery. By incorporating the concept behind this shift, Riddick 4 may be the film that revitalises the series by pushing beyond its established sci-fi foundations and rewriting its story in a fresh and original way.

Although the first instalment of The Fast and the Furious was largely a criminal thriller with a tight-knit gang of street racers as its frame, as the series progressed, its sequels improved to better embrace the high-octane action that it has since been renowned for. The Fast & Furious series evolved from Fast Five to become nearly unrecognisable, adding an ever-expanding ensemble cast, epic heists, and risk-taking stunts to each new film. The Riddick movies likewise need this capacity to subtly change the emphasis in order to rewrite the whole concept, but in a very different manner.

The notion that the Riddick films are a failure is not fully accurate. Riddick and Pitch Black were both modest hits, and even though The Chronicles of Riddick got poor reviews, it nonetheless helped raise awareness of the Riddick universe and the larger Riddick series. As a result, the forthcoming Riddick 4 is really in a much better position than it may seem at first, and all it would take is a minor modification to the formula from the prior films to ensure real success for the Riddick franchise’s future.

Of course, since that the Fast Saga has come to an end with Fast & Furious 10 & 11, Vin Diesel may decide to focus only on the Riddick films. If so, increasing Riddick’s box office performance would just call for him to exert the same focus and effort that he did for the Fast & Furious films.

Diesel has shown his ability to revitalise a brand by making the required adjustments to its formula (or even its genre), so it would appear that Riddick 4 merely has to use this same tactic to restore its future.

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