Vin Diesel wanted Judi Dench to play Aereon, and went to great lengths to get her. A long-time fan of Dench, he had her dressing room filled with bouquets of flowers, and also advised her that they could not begin casting the movie until she agreed to accept the role.
Toomb's line regarding Crematoria, "If I owned this place and Hell, I'd rent this place out and live in Hell," is paraphrased from an infamous quote General Phil Sheridan made during post-Civil War Reconstruction, in which he said "If I owned Hell and Texas, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell."
In her autobiography "And Furthermore," Judi Dench says that she never really understood what was going on in the movie The Chronicles of Riddick, but she enjoyed the experience of making the movie, and she thought the sets were great.
After the original Pitch Black (2000) proved a success on DVD, Universal became interested in making a sequel. Writer/director David Twohy wrote the screenplays for not one, but three sequels. He and Vin Diesel put them into separate leather binders and presented them to Universal, along with the key for the first binder.
The original script involved Riddick fighting the hammerheaded creatures in the underground of a city planet for entertainment. He is captured by a merc named "Big Foe" (Who turns out, in the third act, to be Jack from Pitch Black) and brought back to the planet only to find that the creatures were sentient and wanted revenge on Riddick as dictated by the evil god they worshiped.
The fighting style used by Riddick is a messy variation of the martial art Kali. Kali is characterized by straightforward, powerful attacks, and often is used with blunt weapons like a staff or two pieces of bamboo (called Kali sticks).
David Hayter wrote a prequel about Riddick, growing up and being drafted into a war where he'd get blamed for his entire platoon's death (by Johns, whose callousness was actually to blame). This would result in the huge payday on his head and the many encounters with Johns, some good, some bad, and many lost loves and lost friends that rendered him the cold, heartless monster he was at the beginning of Pitch Black.
David Twohydecided not to set "The Chronicles of Riddick" again on the desert planet which Riddick, Imam and Jack had escaped from at the end of "Pitch Black" and again make a deadly encounter with that planet's flesh eating alien creatures. David Twohy wanted to create for the character of Riddick a mythology and decided to have Riddick go up against The Necromongers.
The line, "Now look at you... all back of the bus and shit," was not originally supposed to be said by Toombs, but Nick Chinlund approached David Twohy and asked if he could be given the line because he really liked it.
Akiva Goldsman's script was about Riddick and Kyra (Jack) hijacking a prison satellite and landing it on a living planet, which launched various creatures made from elements such as air, fire, wind and water at them to try and stop them before trying to kill them with a giant storm.
When Riddick meets Tombs face to face, he asks what the bounty on his head is priced at. Tombs first lies and says a million but is coaxed into telling the truth of 1.5 million. 5 years prior, the price displayed on Riddick's rap sheet in "Dark Fury" was roughly 1.1 million- so within 5 years, the bounty was raised about 400 grand.
Originally "Rated R for violence" as was the first film Pitch Black (2000), this film was envisioned as a PG-13 rated film. Universal appealed the original R-rating, but was not successful. The film was later edited down from the R and was given a "PG-13 for intense sequences of violent action and some language".
The Planet UV6 is made up of land areas called "Fingerprint Terrain". The majority of the effects work for the scenes on this planet were done by "Rhythm and Hues" in Marina Del Rey, California in April and May of 2004.
In the first shot of Riddick and the inmates taking off to reach the hanger, the bodies of Toombs and one of the Hell Hounds can be seen in the background. A deleted seen was shot where Toombs attempts to stop Riddick from leaving, only to be ambushed by the Hell Hound that Riddick befriended. Toombs and the Hound kill each other, and then the party takes off for the Hanger. The first shot was recycled into the film.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The Purifier's line, "I've done unbelievable things in the name of a faith that was never my own," was not originally in the script. It was improvised by Linus Roache and David Twohy kept it in the film.
Riddick's Body Count: 57. Total on screen and storied kills, would be 77 - the beginning shots of Riddick's carnage with the duel blades on Crematoria were shown twice from different camera angles. He kills 10 before the shot changes. And story wise, Vaaco told his wife that Riddick downed 20 of his men in a heartbeat, but only 10 soldiers were shot on screen.