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Stunt Work
For a film with as much hard-boiled action as The Chronicles of Riddick, a topnotch stunt team was essential, and stunt coordinator Robert Brown spent months with his team preparing for the film's many spectacular fight scenes. "This is the toughest one I've ever done,” admits Brown. "I didn't sleep a lot on this show. I had a little recorder next to my bed that I probably picked it up 10 to 15 times a night with ideas of how to accomplish the next day's work.”

Brown enlisted the help of two military consultants, Ron Blecker and Matt Manner, to train the Necromonger and New Meccan soldiers. Over 300 extras were schooled for battle, which including training in formations, signals, tactics, posture, organization and overall unity.

Luckily for Brown, the producers were realistic about the scope of the challenge. "They pretty much told me to do whatever I needed to do,” notes Brown, "so I pulled in Shawn Kautz, fight coordinator Bradley James Allan and Russ Stark, who is a Cirque de Soleil acrobat. We built a huge gym with flying tracks, trampolines, mini-tramps, air ramps…we had all the toys. And we had a great group of riggers, which is a dream team for a stunt coordinator.”

Brown was also fortunate to be working with actors willing to go the distance. Vin Diesel (who, while working on XXX, had been slapped with the appellation "Air Diesel” by members of the stunt team) only used a double when the situation absolutely demanded it. Fight choreographer Bradley James Allan, who worked with Jackie Chan for seven years, marveled at Diesel's agility and natural talent. "He's like a coiled spring,” says Allan, "a fantastic athlete. We didn't get a lot of time to train with Vin, so we put all these fight sequences together with a stunt team and videotaped them. Vin would watch, add his style of movement, decide what changes he wanted to make, and then on the day of shooting he'd just come in and do it. Just amazing.”

Alexa Davalos had never done any stunts on film before, but plunged into her task with fearless abandon. "She jumped into shape in about two weeks,” notes Bob Brown. "Then we put her on the cables and taught her how to flip around. Bradley then taught Alexa her first fight scenes, and she kicked ass, to say the least.”

"Preparing to play Kyra was amazing,” agrees Davalos. "It was a lot of searching within myself, lots of physical training, lots of stunt work, fighting, weapons, especially knife work.”

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