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Tales of the Black Freighter Trailer: Mike Smith Directs Warner Bros. Animated Film, Stars Gerard Butler

Those of you who have been following Watchmen as it makes the transition from comic book to the silver screen know that Warner Bros. and director Zack Snyder had excised the comic-within-a-comic Tales of the Black Freighter from their screenplay.

However, knowing that fans of Watchmen would keel-haul Snyder and everyone else associated with the film if they didn’t make at least some mention of the tale (co-creator Alan Moore’s homage to classic EC horror comics of the 1950’s), Snyder helped produce an animated direct-to-DVD movie called Tales of the Black Freighter, which acts as a companion and allegory for the live-action film.

Now a trailer for the direct-to-DVD movie Tales of the Black Freighter has surfaced online, which you can find by clicking here. It’s a dark tale of damnation and desperation, rendered into what looks like Flash animation.

Tales of the Black Freighter Stars Gerard Butler, SalliSaffioti

Gerard Butler (who shot to fame after screaming, “THIS! IS! SPARTAAA!” in Snyder’s 300) voices The Mariner, a young castaway who seeks to get back to his hometown in order to warn its inhabitants about an impending attack by the ghostly Black Freighter. During the the tale, The Mariner forces himself to perform unspeakable acts, including using the corpses of his shipmates as logs for a makeshift raft.

The Mariner’s descent into madness and damnation is an allegory for several characters within the Watchmen‘s main storyline. One character turns on his comrades in order to stave off a world disaster while another’s obsession with conspiracy leads him into another form of insanity.

SalliSaffioti (Resident Evil: Degeneration) voices the role of The Mariner’s youngest daughter, who plays a small but important role in the story. Saffioti also plays real-life celebrity photographer Annie Liebowitz in Watchmen.

Mike Smith (Futurama) and Daniel DelPurgatorio (Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium) are co-directing Tales of the Black Freighter, with story from the graphic novel’s artist, Dave Gibbons. Original graphic novel writer Alan Moore has publicly stated that he wants nothing to do with the adaptation. hauling

As a bonus, the DVD will also feature a fictional biography about Hollis Mason (the first Nite Owl), entitled “Under the Hood.” Stephen McHattie (the Shade in Justice League, The Rocket) portrays Mason in both “Under the Hood” and in Watchmen.

The Tales of the Black Freighter DVD comes out on March 24th. It’s rated R for “violent and grisly images.”

Fun Fact: Here’s Neil Gaiman’s theory on why Alan Moore wants nothing to do with the Watchmen movie.