Vin Diesel Q&A

We recently had the opportunity to do a one-on-one phone interview with Vin Diesel, the star of the upcoming The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena. If his role in this remake-turned-expansion of the 2004 critical hit The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay doesn't ring a...

by

We recently had the opportunity to do a one-on-one phone interview with Vin Diesel, the star of the upcoming The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena. If his role in this remake-turned-expansion of the 2004 critical hit The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay doesn't ring a bell, then surely his work in movies like Saving Private Ryan, Iron Giant, and The Fast and the Furious does. As an avid gamer, Diesel even created his own development company called Tigon Studios in 2002 to help work with the developers and publishers of games bearing his likeness. (Tigon is currently working alongside Swedish developer Starbreeze, the studio responsible for the bulk of the work on both Riddick games.) Here's what he had to say about his role with Tigon, what it's been like working on this remake, and if there's any chance he'll be popping and locking in a video game any time soon.

GameSpot: A lot of people know that you founded Tigon Studios, but they're probably not too sure with what you do with them on a day-to-day basis. Can you explain your relationship with Tigon?

Vin Diesel: I created Tigon as a game developing company, as a publishing company, that could exploit my access into the film world--my position in Hollywood. The objective for creating Tigon was to be able to create video games that set off the core intentions and designs of the films. Meaning, some of the games that were adapted to movies until that point were licensed off to game companies and there was never any kind of relationship between the game company and the film company making the movie. And in my estimation it made for poor games. My objective was to open up the door to the director of the movie, to the actors in the movie, to writers involved in the film, and try to make a video game that is so true to the movie experience that it could ultimately enhance the movie experience.

I really created the video game company as a way to take all of these resources that were provided for me in making the movie and make them available for creating the video game. That was basically the objective. To create video games that had that sort of cinematic attention. So, it's fascinating when you ever hear an in-house Tigon production meeting... it's not unlike a film production meeting. We'll bring in cinematographers just to talk about camera angles, and constantly push the envelope in giving you that experience like you're in a movie and get to decide what happens in the next second. It was kind of a harmonious thing--harmonious marriage between my involvement in movies and my involvement in film. I think we've been successful in creating games that enhance the movie experience, or enhance your appreciation for the IP.

GS: How has your experience changed working on Dark Athena compared to Butcher Bay? Obviously things are going to be different now that you've got a few games under your belt, but you've also got that confidence knowing the first game was so well received by critics.

VD: One of the big things that I felt really ambitious about--and I can remember being at Starbreeze a couple years ago and talking about this early on, and at first people kind of looked at me sideways when I said, "We gotta get multiplayer. We gotta get the multiplayer component here." Because this game is too rich to only be able to experience it by yourself. You want to be able to apply your expertise in a competitive situation. So the multiplayer online aspect of it was very, very import. Very ambitious, I think, for first-person shooter games to try and accomplish--especially when your first-person shooter game is so heavy in melee hand-to-hand combat like Butcher Bay is and Dark Athena is. So for me the big coup, the big victory on this is the fact that you essentially beat the s*** out of your friend in another country online... as Riddick [laughs].

GS: That's always appealing!

VD: Yeah, that's pretty damn cool. The idea that you can play--all the work that you put into becoming a master in this game you can apply in a competitive sense with your best friend who's also doing the same thing.

GS: The current state of a third movie in the Riddick series seems a little uncertain to the casual fan right now. How does that affect the writing and story explored in the new Dark Athena content? Does it sort of give you guys more room to explore this fiction, or does that change anything about how you've approached this game?

VD: Good question. Maybe we're too tight-lipped about the next Chronicles of Riddick film, and I think circa the release of [Dark Athena] that's probably when you'll start hearing more about the next Riddick film. It is underway and I almost think it's a coincidence that we haven't heard anything, that there hasn't been a lot of public stuff on the Riddick movie.

GS: So it hasn't affected the way you've explored the story in Dark Athena at all, or at least the writing team on the game?

VD: No, one of the important things we did early on in the process was really, really, really try to get every developer, every person working, every graphics designer working on this game to understand the mythology of the film and the IP as a whole. So there were bibles being created that talked about what can exist in this universe and what can't exist in this universe. So I'm actually proud about the fact that everyone is a Chronicles of Riddick expert on the game side. I think that adds something special to the game, and it definitely alleviates any concerns about where the story goes in the game. Because I feel like they've all committed so much to the franchise that everything they do only enhances the universe.

But it's interesting that you've made that comment. Maybe we've been too tight-lipped about the movie, and you'll probably hear a lot more about it as this game is released. I think we were so adamant about knocking this game out of the park that we've been doing a lot of late hours--the overtime's on the game at the moment while [Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick screenwriter] David Twohy is finishing up the next script.

GS: So now that we've seen a few games based on your work as an actor, Vin, could we possibly see any games based on your early days as a breakdancer?

VD: [Laughs] That's a good one, I should do one!

GS: I would like to see it.

VD: What was the other dance game? [Unnamed Diesel associate shouts, "Dance Dance Revolution!"] That's a good one! You know, Shaun, that's not a bad idea. And I'll tell you what, if I ever do--that's actually a really damn good idea now that I'm thinking about it--if I ever do my breakdancing in the streets of New York making money for some French fries and chocolate shakes and McDonald's, running from the police, working in subways, the whole nine yards... there could be a really fun game there. I mean, Tony Hawk did it! Let me think about that! Don't come after me if you see it on the show.

GS: We would love to cover it on our website, Vin.

VD: You got it. Believe me, I'm gonna give it thought. Good idea, you might have just created the next IP.

GS: My pleasure. Thanks a lot.

Discussion

134 comments
Deltaforce2665
Deltaforce2665

Its a first person shooter/stealth but when you doing something really cool or "cinematic" it goes into third person to show you it. Its a fun game I cant wait for it. Im playing through butcher bay again right now.

Neo-EGOS
Neo-EGOS

Is this game a first person shooter or a tird person shooter? i didnt understand...

RonTorque
RonTorque

Vin Diesel's work is more than excellent,Can't wait for this game.

picklesrocks
picklesrocks

vin diesal is one of the all time best bad-ass actors also CANT WAIT!

biokrysty
biokrysty

That's the way how to do it Vin you are the best I cant wait any longer for the game or the movie RIDDICK ROCKS

Saint_Ducky
Saint_Ducky

Vin Deisel is awesome. I can't wait for the next Riddick movie, and I'm definitely getting Assault on Dark Athena!

happy666
happy666

i like the idea of mcdonalds and police chasing and all tht could actually be a good game

DaveA6489
DaveA6489

I wish I was Vin Deisel... *sighs*... Lol. The game looks to be shaping up well. Looking forward to the movie too!

Beasterxxx
Beasterxxx

Kyota1, Did you see PITCH BLACK??? The eye-shine is all explained there! EFBB follows that storyline.

Beasterxxx
Beasterxxx

This is good news, Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay was a phenominal game, and this game can only add to the mystique around the Riddick character. I look forward to the game on the 360 platform. The fact that Twohy is working on a 3rd movie in the franchise also comes as welcome news. Good on ya! Vin. Keep making films and games that are developed together, instead of the trash games that keeps getting released just to make a buck and have zero content.

Kyota1
Kyota1

Let me start off by getting the fandom out of the way... --clears throat-- Woooo ! You Rock VD Okay so.. Vin rocks, He's actually one of my all time favorite actors, and as far as movie-to-game goes no-one does them like Vin. Don't get me wrong the voice acting of say Spiderman 1-3 with Toby wasn't a complete wash and hey any game that has Bruce Campbell in it even his voice can't be too bad. But Starbreeze and everyone working on the Riddick series did an absolute standing obviation job on the first game the shading and detail on VD himself were fantastic I could close my eyes and see Vin standing in the various poses needed for the modelers.. (Don't know if he actually did) I've been a big VD fan for years now.. as a D&D gamer myself I have often thought and wished simply to game with Vin.. none of the fan rubbish that most actors get just pure gaming session seeing the character concepts he comes up with and what he'd play. My biggest respect for the Riddick line is as VD himself said .. everyone is a Mythos expert and the carry over details from movie to game was fantastic. You seldom see games that can stay pure to their own worlds, and the writers for Chronicles did a great job adding a few lines here and there about the story in EFBB. Someone mentioned the eye-shine.. (Riddick-vision) Although you go to the Shaman in BB and this scene happens I got the feeling from Jak's comment in COR that this is more based on his being Furrion .. ie the cats have the same eyes.. perhaps a race of preditory animals from the Furrion homeworld before the Necro's went there. I'm looking forward to the next movie too as much as anyone.. and personally I loved the last one.. reguardless of its viewer rating. And the Riddick lines are brillent.. good job to the writters. "So here I'll sit and wait.. all back of the bus and sh*t" .. as I wait for the game and the next movie.. I'm hoping the DA game gives my 9600 a full Riddick work over for the PC version.

Sorth_31
Sorth_31

Honestly I was really surprised by this interview. But when I thought about it for a second it occurred that the only thing's I've ever had to judge Mr Diesel (Yes I'm going to keep calling him that) on are his films. Not the best places to start since he tends to get the "big, bad, (sometimes cunning) but not overly intelligent tough guy" roles. Which probably have nothing much to do with what he's actually like. Since then, and with a bit of thought on the matter, all I can say to the man is well done. He set up a company to ensure that his likeness wasn't abused in the gaming world as, let's be fair, many have been to sell steaming piles of detritus. He had the intelligence to let people do what they do best, but arm them with the knowledge they needed to do the IP justice. A lot of other stars could have done this, and for most it would have seemed arrogant. Fortunately Mr Diesel seems to have kept his feet at least partially attached to the ground and, rather than turn his company into a money spinning exercise, has actually made something other film-to-game converters should take note of. Let's just hope all the other games they make live up to the high expectations Butcher Bay gave us.

DEWMAN08
DEWMAN08

His previous game for the Xbox was freakin amazing.

Gezquester
Gezquester

Vin is the man! I just got to respect an action star like Vin that keeps it real and admits he loves video games. I doubt someone like Tom Cruise allows himself to just chill out and play some GTA or something at least you never hear him talk about it. Im really looking forward do this game and The Wheelman! I really cant wait for the next Riddick movie, -You keep what you kill-, hot damn what a way to end a movie, Ive been jonesing to find out what happens next ever since I saw it back in 04!

WarHasChanged
WarHasChanged

I could just hear Vin's voice reading every word in this interview... Schizophrenia?

gadragod
gadragod

I do like the vision he has for Tigon studios. I can only take so many Fantastic 4 and bad Spider-man games before I crack. Riddick was and is awesome though.

Un4givingAsault
Un4givingAsault

Game looks cool, but i was told this story about Vin Deisel when i was in Naigra Falls, Canada, it was halarouis.

junglist101
junglist101

I can't wait for this game!! If you haven't played butcher bay you definitely need this game.

NearlyPrescient
NearlyPrescient

I'm not going to lie, he really seems like a decent guy from the different interviews I've seen.

Chaos_Bringer
Chaos_Bringer

He is such a cool dude. I didnt like all his movies but he has a good idea of things a gamer and a movie goer like to see. Plus he's unique, how many actors/game designers you know?

Smiley451
Smiley451

This interview totally made my day. Also glad to see no one's slamming Vin. He's such a badass

robin1104
robin1104

It's sure nice to hear from one who has made his career so big and still be able to read about how down to earth he really is with people. I enjoyed reading it, good work by all involved, thank you. Game On Dude. robin1104

Virus214
Virus214

Vin diesel is my hero......

karta7
karta7

Top notch interveiw, I could almost hear Vin's voice while reading.

wolf0
wolf0

vd is a very cool guy and he loves games but hes been in some bad movies pitch black is the best if they make a new riddick movie hope is like that

10thwonder
10thwonder

Riddick is awesome, I have liked the character since Pitch Black. I never played the first game, but have heard nothing but good things about it. I will definitely download the demo for the new game on Live later.

teddekilla69
teddekilla69

yeah wat dubel 07 said,i mean u hear about how all these actors are stuck up d-bags,but i gess not,but yeah sounds F'n shweet!!

simonsworld
simonsworld

dubel_07 am glad you share my vision.

carmatija
carmatija

Great work! Film + game it's gona be great year for Riddick's fans (me). PS. I hope we will see first film trailer this year ;)

dubel_07
dubel_07

@simonsworld: you just made my day. It's nice to know that they're working on another movie and that VD isn't a jerk.

simonsworld
simonsworld

this guy almost made bald heads looks cool,and the name "vin diesel" sounds like a form of sexual brake fluid, gotta like that.

mr0806
mr0806

word theslim... played the demo and it was awesome I cant wait for the game...

Kiriyama12
Kiriyama12

can't wait for the movie, hopefully the game would also be good..

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

The reviews may have slammed the movies but, actually, I'm fairly certain--and this is the important part--it made a great deal of money. It broke even in theatres and then DVD sales were pretty damn good. And the game did well, too. So I think all is well, Blackace.

protokyoto
protokyoto

Vin always was a professional stand up guy with this seedy cool guy attitude...awesome interview but i'm kinda wary on the whole Breakdancing IP possibility lol...i'm hoping that was a joke as look how bad the Tony Hawk games got after number 2 lol.

zeonfollower
zeonfollower

I love Vin Diesel! He's totally cool dude. My kind of hero.

chechak7
chechak7

hey can't wait for game & movie too

blackace
blackace

The Riddick series is was very good in my book. I don't care what the critics say, I loved both movies. Even the anime was very cool. I agree that Vin should make the 3rd on "R" rated, but he probably won't. I'm still going to see it no matter what it's rated. I've been waiting patiently and hopefully this movie will come out next year. Fast and Furious also looks pretty sweet. I'm glad Paul and Vin are making another one with the ladies. Never got a chance to meet Vin when he was at the E3. Line was way too long and we had to leave early. I heard he's a very cool guy and down to earth. Keep up the good work Vin. Now I have to watch "Find Me Guilty".

Alex_09
Alex_09

Oh man evilross I have been waiting to pick up event horizon for a year now! I've never seen it but it sounds like one of the best sci-fi movies ever.

zaoyin
zaoyin

dancing game? Vin Diesel? am i going mad?

KA12NAG3
KA12NAG3

Vin Diesel's the man. I hope the game turns out to be incredible.