FIRST LOOK: ‘Black Freighter’ from ‘Watchmen’ sets sail on March 24

Feb. 05, 2009 | 12:25 a.m.

On the page, one of the most gripping aspects of "Watchmen" was the story-within-a-story of "Tales of the Black Freighter," the gruesome maritime yarn about a sailor watching the world around him tumble into dark madness. "Freighter" brought such story symmetry and symbolism value to "Watchmen" that many people (including Alan Moore) often cite it when they declare the comic-book epic to be simply "unfilmable." "Watchmen" the film hits theaters on March 6, and while the running-time restraints of Hollywood make the secondary tale completely impractical, director Zack Snyder  has been outspoken in his desire stay aboard the "Black Freighter" in some fashion. Here’s his solution….

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This animated adaptation from Warner Premiere of the grim pirate tale will be sold on DVD ($27.95) and BluRay ($35.99) and hits stores on March 24. "Freighter," which is R-rated, features the voice of Snyder’s old "300" buddy, Gerard Butler, as well as Jared Harris ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"). Snyder co-wrote with Alex Tse (the same scripting tandem behind the feature film) while Daniel DelPurgatorio is directing.

(Daniel DelPurgatorio? Wow, a name that evokes both the author of "Robinson Crusoe" and the writings of Dante…that’s pretty spot-on for the ethos of "Black Freighter"!)

If "Black Freighter" was the emotional shadow of the comics version of "Watchmen," "Under the Hood" was it’s CliffsNotes companion, a supplement that gave back-story and also sharpened the real-world textures that Moore and artist Dave Gibbons deemed vital for their game-changing comics epic. On the DVD\BluRay, this one is adpated as a live-action faux documentary with stars of the theatrical film, among them Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Carla Gugino.

Also, the BluRay version of this "Watchmen" supplemental release has a preview of the upcoming Green Lantern animated home-video movie. One more thing: Both the DVD and BluRay also have the first chapter of the "Watchmen" motion comics adaptation. If you want to see the motion comics adaptation in its entirety, well, that is also DVD and BluRay on March 3.

–Geoff Boucher

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CREDIT: "Black Freighter" image courtesy of Warner Bros.

More in: Uncategorized, Alan Moore, Watchmen, Zack Snyder

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