The man who will forever be known as Richard B. Riddick (or, to Guardians of the Galaxy fans, Groot) — actor Vin Diesel — has signed on the dotted line for a multi-year, first-look production deal between his One Race Television production company and Universal TV.
Founded in 1995, One Race has produced the four highest-grossing flicks in the seven Fast & Furious film franchise, including Furious 7, Fast & Furious 6, Fast Five and Fast & Furious. One Race was also responsible for a couple more hit movie franchises, including sci-fi cult classic Pitch Black and its two sequels: The Chronicles of Riddick and Riddick. They're also behind xXx and the upcoming xXx: Return of Xander Cage.
Not content with producing blockbusters on the big screen, they’re now dipping their creative toes into the world of TV production. What could be more awesome than that? Read on, guys, 'cause this news is about to get even better.
The official press release reveals that of the first projects spearheaded by the studio is the companion TV series to Diesel and writer/director David Twohy’s Riddick movie franchise. Back in November, Diesel had announced plans for a spinoff series titled Merc City, which follows the Mercs and Bounty Hunters in the Riddick universe. Frack yeah!
“In addition to being a huge star for our feature division, Vin is a true creative force as a producer. After sitting down with him and his team at One Race Television, it’s clear he will now also be an incredible asset to both the network and our television studio” said Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment. “We feel really fortunate to be in business with, not only an international powerhouse, but a truly thoughtful and passionate producer.”
Brought on board as head of TV is Fox Broadcasting Co. exec VP of event series Shana C. Waterman, who was most recently a producer on M. Knight Shyamalan’s sleeper hit sci-fi series Wayward Pines. She’ll oversee development and production under the new deal.
“I’m incredibly excited to join the exceptionally smart, innovative team Vin’s built at One Race,” Waterman said. “Both he and fellow producer Samantha Vincent, alongside their partners at Universal, have grown a formidable global brand ready-made for this diverse and highly creative time in the world of television.”
As for the main man himself, Diesel said of the new deal:
“I have dreamt about expanding the One Race brand into television and now we’ve found the perfect creative partners in Bob, Jen and the team at Universal Television,” Diesel said. “Shana is an incredible addition to this team.”
Even though there’s no news yet on when production on the Riddick TV series will kick off, or even when it will air (it's too soon to tell), I’m excited about what this deal means: that we’re getting one step closer to seeing that Riddick companion series, Merc City, blast its way onto our TV screens. What do you think?
(via Spoiler TV)