If you've never read the Watchmen graphic novel, stop reading this and do so right now.
Done? OK, stop lying, I know you didn't, so you're mostly likely unaware that within the panels of the novel lies another story. In short, throughout most of the story, one of the characters from the Watchmen universe is reading a comic book, and we get to see most of what he's reading.
The comic book--called Tales of the Black Freighter-- is a pirate story that somewhat parallels events taking place in the Watchmen universe.
For the movie adaptation of Watchmen, The Black Freighter has been cut from the theatrical release for purposes of runtime. However, Watchmen director Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. have come up with an excellent compromise.
They've taken the Black Freighter story, animated it, and gotten Gerard Butler (of 300 fame) to voice it. And they'll be releasing it on Blu-ray and DVD on March 24, two and a half weeks after the movie opens.
Also included on the disc will be Under the Hood, a documentary based on the non-fiction (but fiction) book the original Night Owl from Watchmen wrote. I know, it gets confusing, which is why you should have read it when I said.
There are also plans to release an "Ultimate" version of Watchmen on DVD with with new live action footage and the Black Freighter edited back into it. I think I hear my bank account wincing in pain as I type this.
Today we can see the very first footage released from the Black Freighter on DVD. Check out the trailer from MTV.com below.