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Tales of the Black Freighter Gets Its Own DVD

Published May 26, 2008 in Movie News
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of WireImage, New York Times
Zack Snyder Zack Snyder
Though we were originally told that Tales of the Black Freighter would arrive as a super-DVD bonus with Watchmen, it looks like the project has earned its very own DVD.

DVD for Tales of the Black Freighter

NYTimes reports that Warner Bros. plans to release Tales of the Black Freighter on its very own DVD only to later attach it to a special edition of Watchmen.

The twist is that Mr. Snyder, known for turning the Spartan comic book series “300” into a global hit movie, is also directing a separate-but-related picture that Warner plans to distribute exclusively on DVD.

The second film, tentatively called “Tales of the Black Freighter,” follows a side “Watchmen” storyline about a shipwreck and will arrive in stores five days after the main movie rolls out in theaters. The DVD will also include a documentary-style film called “Under the Hood” that will delve into the characters’ backstories.

If that sounds like spin, to some degree it is. The movie studio would not be drafting one of its top filmmakers and sinking millions into “Tales of the Black Freighter” if it did not see a direct benefit for itself.

The immediate goal is for the parallel release to help start a potential new movie franchise. As television advertising becomes less effective because of declining TV viewership, movie studios need to reach a mass audience somehow, and having what amounts to ads sitting on store shelves is seen as a crucial antidote.

The effort is also a way for Warner to get more DVD bang for not many more bucks. The “Watchmen” film, Mr. Synder said, will probably generate at least three DVDs: “Tales of the Black Freighter,” followed about four months later by release of “Watchmen” itself, and then an “ultimate” edition in which the two are edited together into one megamovie.

“The überfans of this property are going to go crazy for that,” Mr. Snyder said.

Though it sounds like a serious case of double-dipping, the production definitely sounds worthy of its own DVD. How about including it to the theatrical release of Watchmen then? After the credits?

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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of WireImage, New York Times

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