Warner Bros. has sent us an interview with Alex Tse, who wrote the screenplay for Watchmen, on the creation of Tales of the Black Freighter, the upcoming animated feature designed to go part and parcel with the main film. Here’s some of what Tse had to say:
“Black Freighter went through a lot of incarnations – we talked about doing it live action, then ‘300’ green screen-style, then we decided it would be animated – so I wrote it without a firm idea of the format,” said Tse, who had not previously written for animation. “I guess I just didn’t treat it any differently than any writing project I normally undertake. And I’m guessing this was probably like nothing I ever will work on again.”
“In the book, I think it was written as a parallel to the Watchmen story – with one major difference,” Tse said. “In Black Freighter, the sea captain thinks everything he is doing is for a good purpose. But then he realizes, no matter how well intentioned his acts have been, he has done some horrible things. In Watchmen, even though Adrian Veidt says he realizes the consequences of his actions and that he has made himself feel each death he has caused, he never seems to express that pain or sorrow. There’s no real remorse for what he’s done. So either he doesn’t fully realize it or he just doesn’t care.”
“I am not a huge fan of movies where you’re just watching someone go crazy – as a viewer, it’s hard to connect to that idea,” Tse said. “You need to be able to relate to his situation, to understand why he’s going insane. With Black Freighter, it was important to keep it grounded in the cause of his madness. He’s been through a traumatic experience, he’s alone, and now he’s doing anything he can to get back to his home and save his family. So when he does these horrible, crazy things, you know he’s doing it to try and save what is dearest to him. An audience can understand that situation.”
The co-feature came out March 24th.