Twohy didn’t plan to be altogether out of the picture for at least the first sequel. He told Variety that he’d pitched an “ambitious treatment for a sequel” in 2000 but that the studio had passed. Of course, this happened before the first film more than doubled its budget in box office money, so it’s no surprise that they didn’t want to take on anything “ambitious.” Plus, as the article pointed out, Twohy was working on “Below” and was scheduled to write and direct another project. Something changed his mind and the minds at the studio. Twohy said: 

“It was only after ‘Lord of the Rings’ and the new ‘Star Wars’ [referring to the prequels] that the possibilities here grabbed us. Once we started running with it, everybody fell in love with what we were doing, even the studio. Is everybody planning for three? Yes, they are.” 

When they realized that sequels (and prequels) were working well for those franchises, the studio put aside other drafts for “The Chronicles of Riddick” written by David Hayter and Akiva Goldsman and went with Twohy’s pitch. He continued: 

“Vin has become a bigger star, and he and I became interested in multiple pictures. Vin wanted a franchise and when ‘Fast and the Furious’ didn’t happen for him, we pitched this to the studio, and they went for the idea of not just one but up to three follow-ups. We’ll give Riddick multiple adversaries on different levels. We think of ‘Pitch Black’ like ‘Mad Max’ was to ‘Road Warrior,’ or ‘The Hobbit’ was to ‘Lord of the Rings.’ They were places to find one of your characters, enabling you to take them to different places in subsequent films.”