<em>Watchmen: Black Freighter</em> trailer <em>Watchmen: Black Freighter</em> trailer

Watchmen: Black Freighter trailer

In conjunction with the March 6th release of Watchmen, Warner Bros. is releasing (on March 24th) a direct-to-video animation of Tales of The Black Freighter. In the original Watchman graphic novel, a Black Freighter comic book story is read and weaved within the main narrative. I’m particularly excited about this project because of the two talented directors helming this adaptation — animator Mike Smith (Tank Girl, 1001 Nights) and designer/filmmaker Daniel DelPurgatorio.

(via Frames Per Second)

  • Abdul Elah

    This could of been more impressive if they got Production I.G. to do it.

  • I dunno, Mike Smith is pretty impressive in his own right, so I’m good to go with this! From what I’ve read, they’ve had to take out Black Freighter from the theatrical version of the film because of length. But will insert it back in for an extended version on DVD.

  • Justin

    Looks excellent! Now all they have to do is keep the side story of the kid reading THIS side story and all will be well…

  • Billy Batz

    terrible drawings. Looks like Spawn!

  • rhinotonight

    Abdul, yes.

    i don’t like the look. but it’s still a thrill.

  • Cant wait to see what hey have done with it! The story in comic was awesome.

  • Looks rather good for a low-budget direct-to-video unlike the Bruce Timm-produced DC Universe movies (not involving “Gotham Knight”.)

    Also, I looked into it’s press release and it’s already spoiling the “surprise trailer” for the 5th DC Universe feature that’s going to be attached with “Wonder Woman”. It’s “Green Lantern”.

  • Ryan

    Oh yes oh yes oh yes, Ward, you have made me a very excited man indeed.

  • waldo

    from what I’ve heard Mike was left to pull this off in not very the best of conditions production wise. my hat goes off to him, as always, but especially in this situatioin. i can’t wait for him to finally be given a feature to helm!

  • Toby

    I am really keen to see this one. I think it would of been so great to have been able to see it at the movies along with watchmen, but at least they will couple them together with the dvd.

  • Talk about no comprehension of original subject. A travesty, a monstrous wrong. I don’t care if Richard Williams rose from the dead to direct!! A greedy, soulless destruction of the creator’s original intent. Please read the graphic novel; then you’ll get how, to a fan of the book, this is like doing a CGI version of Felix the Cat. It as WRONG an idea as I have ever seen.

  • OM

    …The running joke about this extra is that when the castaway returns home, he finds his village has been destroyed by a giant squad.

  • tom

    While it’s a shame that Alan Moore’s name won’t be on the credits, and that he can’t take any joy from the creation of this film, I think that he had to know what he was getting into with his DC contract. DC and Marvel are longtime snake pits, and a better deal must be brokered in every situation. Creators have to be ever vigilant with comic book companies.

    Also, half of the enjoyment of this book comes from Dave Gibbons’ visuals. At least half. He’s happy with the movie, and I’ll take that as an endorsement. Tom Stazer, you might feel better about it if you look at it from Dave’s angle.

    If you doubt the impact a major cartoonist has on a comi- er, “graphic novel”, might I point you to Alan Moore’s Big Numbers (aka The Mandelbrot Set)? As I recall, it was supposed to tell the story of the impact on a small Scottish town after a big American-style shopping mall is built nearby. The whole project was killed when the grossly inappropriate Bill Sienkiewicz abruptly left the project and was replaced by the notoriously undependable Al Columbia, who essentially was ghosting Sienkiewicz’ already chaotic style. Dense at script level, this story did not need hard-to-follow ‘experimental’ illustration. It would have been better read with an old, naturalistic Leonard Starr- style cartoonist on it, or a new story-first artist like Chris Ware partnering with Moore. That was many years ago, and we’ll likely never see the story in any form. If Gibbons or even Kevin O’Neill had drawn it, it would probably have been a BBC series with Moore’s blessing all over it by now.

  • DLee

    sweet! I was wondering if they were going to add that into the movie… kept thinking, “If they did add Black Freighter, it would be awesome, but much longer…” Now they’re doing this :D nice… i’ll definitely buy it

  • Tom,

    Excellent post! A bit of explanation from my end.

    I do take Gibbon’s attitude towards the FEATURE film – visually and compositionally, it is true to Gibbons vision. But this animated project, separate from the movie, seems wrong. Does Gibbons agree with this? It was only the animation project i was vehemently opposed to.

    Here’s my basic problem. The BF narrative served several purposes within the graphic novel; as well as mirroring the actual events – to fight a horror I became an even greater horror myself – it also served as a sample of what horrors the writer who wrote Black Freighter might come up with, as he was the writer whisked away to the island to invent the world the squids come from, and their overall world so there was a convincing portrait of a world of horrors that would bring mankind together in defense.
    Since it has been widely reported that Director Snyder has totally removed this from the plot – no squid, no author, no other dimensional horrors – what the heck is the point? TOTBF has no reason to exist outside the original narrative, and even less reason to exist as an anime-style SAW sequel. I know torture and gore are big favorites at the multiplex, but TOTBF was supposed to REPEL you not make you go, COOL, slow-mo blood! Entrails! Coool!

    So wrong-headed, IMHO

  • Hal

    NOT into this. Animation looks medium budget, the movement is inconsistent in the trailer and looks too digital (or more or less like the ok segments of GOTHAM KNIGHT and ANIMATRIX) which I wouldn’t mind if it matched the STYLE of the comic within a comic (or even an 80’S ANIMATED ANYTHING!) – the vintage EC Comic aesthetic of BLACK FREIGHTER – even if the animation wasn’t as sound. This looks no different than the HBO SPAWN series (and WHAT IS WITH THE PIRATES BEING ZOMBIE GHOULS?!?! That was NEVER in the story). Its as if fans of the book should be grateful this is being made at all, despite the fact (as Tom perfectly brought up already) it has no context within the narrative of the film anymore. What a missed opportunity, and that’s a shame.