Aliens and bounty hunters hunt fugitive Riddick

Universal Pictures has kicked off principal photography for Riddick, an action-oriented sci-fi thriller.

The latest chapter in the franchise continues the space saga that began with Pitch Black (2000) and The Chronicles of Riddick in 2004.

As expected, Vin Diesel is reprising his role as the antihero Riddick, a dangerous, escaped convict wanted by every bounty hunter in the known galaxy.

Riddick – penned by writer/director David Twohy – opens with the infamous fugitive who has been left for dead on a sun-scorched planet that appears to be lifeless. 

Soon, however, Riddick finds himself fighting for survival against alien predators more lethal than any human he’s encountered. The only way off the desolate rock is for Riddick to activate an emergency beacon and alert mercenaries who rapidly descend to the planet in search of their lucrative bounty.

The first ship to arrive carries a new breed of mercenaries, more lethal and violent than previously encountered by Riddick, while the second is captained by a man whose pursuit of the fugitive is infinitely more personal.

In addition to Vin Diesel, the film stars Urban (Star Trek, The Bourne Supremacy) as Vaako, and introduces Santana, the arrogant captain of the mercenary ship; Matt Nable (Killer Elite) as Boss Johns, a man looking for answers; Katee Sackhoff (TV’s Battlestar Galactica) as the Nordic mercenary Dahl; and Bokeem Woodbine (upcoming Total Recall) as bounty hunter Moss.

Other cast members include Dave Bautista (the scorpion king 3:Battle for Redemption), Conrad Pla (Immortals), Raoul Trujillo (Apocalypto), Nolan Funk (TV’s Aliens in America) and two-time Grammy Award-nominated singer Keri Hilson.

Riddick is slated to hit theaters in 2013.