Back in 2000, Vin Diesel was mostly unknown. Of course he had an excellent role in it Saving Private Ryan as the good-hearted but doomed soldier pinned down by sniper fire, but otherwise he was pretty vague. It changed when Completely dark, a medium-budget sci-fi action film, hit theaters and, against all odds, was a decent-sized hit. Directed by David Twohy, the film gave Diesel a tailor-made role as the anti-hero doomed Riddick and offered early parts to Cole Hauser and Radha Mitchell.

Interestingly enough, Universal Pictures was ready to send this film straight to video, not for the fact that early fan sites such as Ain’t It Cool News championed the film after early screenings. The online buzz secured the film a solid opening via the now-defunct USA Pictures, and when Diesel became a star, the studio gave him a tentpole-sized follow-up, The Chronicles of Riddick. Although that film was a bomb, it did well enough that a lesser sequel, Riddick, was ordered. In fact, the character has managed to achieve a profitable franchise for the studio, and especially if this film had never happened, it is unlikely that we would ever have Fast and furious phenomena.

In this section of WTF happened to this moviewritten and narrated by Dave Davis and edited by Juan Jimenez, we take a look at the making of this future cult classic and examine how it set Vin Diesel on the path to stardom.

Do you think Pitch Black will hold up? Tell us in the comments.

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