Watch The Forgotten Prequel Short To Vin Diesel's Pitch Black

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Watch The Forgotten Prequel Short To Vin Diesel's Pitch Black

Vin Diesel’s first big movie success was Pitch Black, but many fans forget it actually got a short animated prequel around the time of release.

Vin Diesel’s first big movie success was Pitch Black, but many fans forget it actually got a short animated prequel around the time of release. When Diesel one day retires and his career is examined, there’s no doubt going to be one role he’ll always be most associated with, that being family-oriented outlaw Dom Toretto in the progressively more ridiculous Fast and the Furious franchise. That’s not a bad legacy to have by any means, but for those more inclined to the realms of sci-fi and horror, there’s no better Diesel character than Richard Riddick.

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Riddick has taken many lives, but in most cases, it turned out they kind of had it coming. Over the course of his franchise, from Pitch Black to The Chronicles of Riddick to Riddick, the fugitive with the disturbingly shiny eyes evolved from an imposing antihero into more and more of a straight-up hero. Thankfully, Riddick kept most of his violent edge, as that’s part of why so many instantly loved the character in Pitch Black.

Diesel clearly loves Riddick too, having personally pushed for the third film to get made, two – possibly three – video games starring Riddick to be released, and an upcoming, yet delayed, Riddick 4 to enter development. Before all that expanded material though, there was an official prequel short called Pitch Black: Slam City that offered a look at Riddick prior to Pitch Black‘s beginning, and showed off how he got his trademark eyeshine.

While WWE would later use the name Slam City for its own animated series about wrestlers, the Slam City in Pitch Black: Slam City refers to a prison where Riddick is. The animated prequel short features no voice acting and, prior to the film’s release, was posted for viewing on Pitch Black‘s official website. It looks at Riddick’s arrival to and escape from the titular prison, which takes him less than 12 hours to accomplish. Lining up with Pitch Black itself, the prequel also shows how Riddick underwent surgery from a prison doctor to gain his eyeshine, then paid for this with a pack of cigarettes.

Pitch Black: Slam City is an amusing curiosity for Vin Diesel/Riddick fans, although it’s worth noting that the surgical explanation for Riddick’s eyeshine was later retconned, making this prequel short arguably non-canon. In the video game The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay, which was released prior to the second movie, it’s revealed that the eye shine was a formerly dormant trait belonging to alpha males of the Furyan race, from which Riddick hails. Interestingly, a deleted scene from Butcher Bay, later included in its sequel Assault on Dark Athena, attempted to fix this discrepancy by saying the surgical version is how Riddick chooses to remember things.

Michael Kennedy is an avid movie and TV fan that’s been working for Screen Rant in various capacities since 2014. In that time, Michael has written over 2000 articles for the site, first working solely as a news writer, then later as a senior writer and associate news editor. Most recently, Michael helped launch Screen Rant’s new horror section, and is now the lead staff writer when it comes to all things frightening. A FL native, Michael is passionate about pop culture, and earned an AS degree in film production in 2012. He also loves both Marvel and DC movies, and wishes every superhero fan could just get along. When not writing, Michael enjoys going to concerts, taking in live professional wrestling, and debating pop culture. A long-term member of the Screen Rant family, Michael looks forward to continuing on creating new content for the site for many more years to come.

Riddick has taken many lives, but in most cases, it turned out they kind of had it coming. Over the course of his franchise, from Pitch Black to The Chronicles of Riddick to Riddick, the fugitive with the disturbingly shiny eyes evolved from an imposing antihero into more and more of a straight-up hero. Thankfully, Riddick kept most of his violent edge, as that’s part of why so many instantly loved the character in Pitch Black.

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