New Watchmen DVDs To Tell Black Freighter Story

Director Zack Snyder is getting all the time he needs with three chances to tell the entire expansive Watchmen saga on DVD. As we'd reported, there will be an animated Tales of the Black Freighter feature, followed by the release of the actual Watchmen DVD. And then a third mystery project will be released that connects everything. We're looking at maybe nine hours of Watchmen goodness, including extra movie footage.


Black Freighter is an interweaving comic-within-a-comic story. It's actually the comic book read by the kid sitting outside the newsstand in the Watchmen books. The kid becomes the narrator while reading his comic. The actual Black Freighter tells the story of a castaway who is desperately trying to get home to warn family and friends about the arrival of the Black Freighter, a ship of ghosts.

"I thought the 'Black Freighter' story would never see the light of day," Snyder told the New York Times. "The main picture is nearing three hours long and I know I have a fight on my hands just with that."

The new movie was originally going to be shot in Snyder's familiar 300 style, but when the budget went past 20 million the studio changed it to straight animation. Still, this stunt by Warner won't be cheap. Retaining Snyder and some of the members from the Watchmen cast (if they reappear) has got to be pricey. And Warner's revealed they would be spending 30 to 50 percent more on the DVDs than in a typical direct-DVD project.

And if your Watchmen saturation level still hasn't been reached, the studio plans to release an additional 12 webisodes each about 22 to 26 minutes in length titled, The Watchmen Motion Comic. The web shorts will be a slide show of comic panels with a narrator. Snyder is also overseeing this project, which he should have an eye for after his meticulous comic-panel set design that's been showcased in recent set photos.

Although I'm incredibly excited to see Snyder piece together the entire Watchmen story (and be given the creative space to do so) I'm not so sure about the whole DVD affair. Blu-ray is neat but with the creation of the new Netflix set-top box, DVDs appear to be going to the way of the Dodo. [New York Times]