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'Watchmen': A trio of spinoffs

    May 27, 2008
Source: www.nytimes.com

The New York Times details the marketing plan for those 'Watchmen' parallel movies we've been hearing about.

A DVD is set to be released into stores five days after the movie arrives in theaters. The disc will contain 'Tales of the Black Freighter' as well as 'Under the Hood'. The 'Watchmen' movie itself would likely arrive on DVD four months after that, and an ultimate edition combining all three would follow.

'Freighter' would depict the comic-within-a-comic, that is read by a minor character throughout the graphic novel and runs parallel to the main story. The article reveals that director Zack Snyder had hoped to film the lurid pirate tale in the same style as '300', with live-action actors on virtual sets.

When the budget for that vision came in at $20 million, the decision was made to use traditional animation. Although the NYT article doesn't reveal it, it has been reported that '300' star Gerard Butler will do voice work for the movie.

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

The article does not provide details about 'Under the Hood' other than to say it's been done documentary style. We do know that it draws on the back-page material of the comics, which presented the autobiography of the original Nite-Owl and will feature several segments.

Finally, the New York Times mentions the creation of "a dozen 22- to 26-minute Webisodes to help make the complex story easier for the uninitiated to digest. Called 'The Watchmen Motion Comic,' it will be a panel-by-panel slide show of the graphic novel narrated by an actor."

These webisodes will appear online, but its unclear which DVD packaging they might fit into.

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