Black Freighter Gets Arrrrr Rating

While Warner Bros.’ upcoming superhero epic Watchmen is solidly tailored to the PG-13 crowd, its animated companion piece has been slapped with an R rating by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Tales of the Black Freighter, a gruesome pirate story directed by Zack Snyder, was flagged by the organization for its ‘violent and grisly images,’ according to Ain’t It Cool News.

Tales of the Black Freighter is a comic within a comic, and one of the elements that had to be cut from Snyder’s adaptation of Watchmen, the bestselling graphic novel by author Alan Moore and illustrator Dave Gibbons. Set to hit retail five days after Watchmen arrives in theaters, the anime-style movie features Gerard Butler (300) as the voice of a shipwrecked seaman struggling to get home and protect his wife and child from attack by a marauding pirate ship. The disc will also include a doc titled Under the Hood, which will explore the backgrounds of the various heroic characters in Watchmen.

Scheduled to open on March 6, 2009, Watchmen is set in a time when superheroes have been outlawed and revolves around a group of caped crusaders who struggle with their own personal demons while trying to avert a nuclear war between the United States and Russia. The cast includes Jackie Earle Haley, Billy Crudup, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino and Malin Akerman.