Watchmen’s Black Freighter to Be DVD Movie

Fans of the bestselling Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons graphic novel Watchmen cheered at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con when it was revealed that director Zack Snyder (300, Dawn of the Dead remake) would adapt the “Tales of the Black Freighter” segment for the DVD release of the Watchmen movie. Now, The New York Times reports that Tales of the Black Freighter will be released as its own animated DVD movie five days after Watchmen hits theaters.

In Watchmen, a character is reading a pirate comic titled Tales of the Black Freighter, in which a shipwrecked seaman struggles to get home and protect his wife and child from attack by marauding pirate ship. In streamlining the story for the screen, Snyder and Warner Bros. decided to leave the side story out of the film, but couldn’t resist bringing it to the screen in some form. The anime-style production will star Gerard Butler (300) as the voice of the cursed main character. Also included in the disc will be 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.