Get ready to begin gently correcting lots of Once Upon A Time fans, because Bill Willingham’s FABLES is edging closer to the big screen.
First published in 2002 under DC’s VERTIGO imprint, FABLES tells the tale of fairy tale characters who fled their homelands and a mysterious, powerful “Adversary” in order to settle in NYC.
Harry Potter producer David Heyman is apparently shepherding the project, and A Royal Affair director Nikolaj Arcel has been tapped to direct the film with Jeremy Slater (Fox’s upcoming Fantastic Four reboot) scripting. Arcel is an interesting choice given his lack of experience with big budget special effects films, but that lack of prior experience just might benefit the film. As movies like Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Avengers have arguably shown, sometimes its best to hire a person capable of orchestrating the actors and emotion involved, while surrounding that director with a solid and knowledgeable FX team.
FABLES has been on Hollywood’s radar for a good long while now. As reported in the article linked to above, in 2004 Warner Brothers attempted to develop a film version with the Jim Henson Company* and in 2008 ABC planned to develop the comic into a TV series. More than a few fans have noted that ABC’s Once Upon A Time, which premiered not long after plans for a FABLES show were scuttled, bears a strong resemblance to Willingham’s story in terms of its basic shape**.
Are you excited to see Willingham’s FABLES potentially brought to life on the big screen? And who would you want to see playing the book’s overstuffed cornucopia of characters?
*Boy, what I wouldn’t give to visit an alternate timeline where that version exists.
**If one were feeling real cynical, one could note that by passing on producing FABLES in favor of a different “fairy tale characters get stuck in the real world due to the machinations of a malevolent adversary” ABC, and therefore Disney, could utilize the versions of classic fairy tale characters that they already own, and so avoid sharing any profit from the endeavor with the folks who created the comic. One COULD note this, if one were feeling super-cynical. Of course, I’m not. I’m just sayin’.
MMorse is a comforting fiction. You can argue with him about the direction FABLES took once the Adversary was finally “defeated” on Twitter at @M_Morse