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After much talk, the long-awaited sequel to the Vin Diesel-fronted sci-fi thriller The Chronicles of Riddick is finally in motion. The third film in the The Chronicles of Riddick franchise, which began with Pitch Black in 2000, hasn't yet earned a title. However news of its could-be cast has been emerging. First Battlestar Galactica star Katee Sackhoff entered talks to bring her sci-fi savvy to the big screen, where she would play a bounty hunter who is on Riddick's trail. Then news broke that Spanish actor Jordi Molla, who has made a career of playing dastardly deviants, may play the central villain in this yet-to-be named thriller. Now Variety reveals the first actor—other than returning stars Vin Diesel and Karl Urban--to officially sign on to The Chronicles of Riddick sequel is young Nolan Funk.

The 25-year-old Canadian actor/recording artist made his mark on Broadway in 2009 playing dreamy rock star Conrad Birdie in Bye Bye Birdie. Yet he hasn't made it big here in the States, despite having landed a bevvy of supporting roles in film and television productions. While there's no word on what character he would be playing, his casting here could prove a turning point for Funk, who just wrapped production on the ABC Family pilot Intercept, where he co-stars as one of four college friends turned amateur sleuths. He's also slated to appear in a couple of thrillers this year, including the detective-centered Evidence, which co-stars Stephen Moyer and Radha Mitchell, and the ominously titled House at the End of the Street, which stars Elisabeth Shue and Jennifer Lawrence as a mother and daughter entangled in the murderous past of their new neighbors.

Now, while the title of The Chronicles of Riddick sequel is a mystery, we do know Vin Diesel has been openly eager to reprise the role that launched his career. Even a two-month halt in production when funding fell through was not enough to dampen his enthusiasm. Pitch Black co-writer and director David Twohy has returned to helm the untitled tale which is expected to be a leaner adventure, more in the vein of Pitch Black than its glossy and pricy sequel. Once more, Riddick, who is now drunk with the power of being a Lord Marshall, finds himself stranded on a beast-filled planet. But this time, the local monsters are not all he has to worry about as a couple of mercenaries are also on the hunt for this bald-headed badass.

The untitled The Chronicles of Riddick sequel is now shooting.
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