Diesel Does Animated Riddick

A story in today’s Daily Variety mentions that Universal Studios Home Video will release the direct-to-video animated feature The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury. The release will hit shelves June 15, four days after the effects-riddled live-action pic The Chronicles of Riddick arrives in theaters.

The animated and live-action films continue the adventures of Riddick, a character played by Vin Diesel in the 2000 sci-fi sleeper hit Pitch Black. That flick had the action man fighting off nasty alien critters on a desert planet. Diesel will lend his voice to the animated follow-up.

Diesel’s video game production company, Trigon Studios, is in development with Vivendi Universal Games on The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, an interactive title that serves as a prequel to all the other projects and explores the origins of the character.

Also on the way from Universal Studios Home Video is the animated video release Van Helsing: The London Assignment, set to retail on May 11, just days after Universal’s CG-loaded live-action feature Van Helsing hits the big screen.

Fueled by the success of The Animatrix, the trend of releasing animated home video titles in conjunction with theatrical features should continue to grow as producers of sci-fi and horror films recognize the popularity of anime among their target audience.