DC’s ‘Fables’ Comic Getting Movie Adaptation

By June 4, 2013

If you’ve even remotely been interested in the world of comics recently, you’ve likely come across what I call the Big Three: Preacher, Y: The Last Man, and Fables. As far as I’m concerned, these are the best comics that have hit shelves over the past few decades and all three rank among the greatest of all time. Film versions of all three properties have been in the works for years (Dan Trachtenberg was hired to direct Y: The Last Man earlier this year and is in pre-production on that now), and now it appears as if Fables is finally going to make the jump from the page to the screen.

The Hollywood Reporter says that Danish director Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) has been hired to direct a film adaptation of Bill Willingham’s long-running Vertigo comic series. Jeremy Slater, who wrote the screenplay for the upcoming reboot of The Fantastic Four, will tackle the script, while David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford (who produced the Harry Potter franchise) will produce.

The comic follows characters from fairy tales and folklore who are living in hiding after being kicked out of their homeworld by an evil and mysterious “Adversary.” They set up shop in Fabletown, a hidden section of New York City, and take on normal, everyday jobs: the Big Bad Wolf is the town sheriff, Snow White is the mayor’s assistant, etc. If you haven’t heard of the series before, you’re probably thinking: “Hey, that sounds an awful lot like the ABC series ‘Once Upon A Time.'” That’s true, but “OUAT” totally jacked Willingham’s idea, twisted it into their own thing just enough that they wouldn’t get sued, and reaped the rewards. Oh yeah, and did I mention that the same network, ABC, was developing a “Fables” TV show before they ended up passing on it and going with “Once” instead? Total douche move, ABC.

Anyway, as a big fan of the series, I’m glad to hear that Willingham’s comic is finally getting some more love, but I’m not sure how a movie will work. It’s such a massive story (Willingham has been writing it for over ten years now) that – like Y: The Last Man and Preacher – if you’re going to adapt them at all, they really would be better suited for a longform TV format. I don’t envy writer Jeremy Slater for his task of condensing this story into a two hour movie, but with his geek cred writing The Fantastic Four, I’m hoping he can craft something that at least reflects the source material.

Are you a fan of Fables? Excited about seeing it turned into a feature film? Sound off in the comments below.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.