DC Comics’ ‘Fables’ Film Adaptation Moving Forward with New Director

Published 2 years ago by

Fables DC Comics Fables Film Adaptation Moving Forward with New Director

With Warner Bros. holding its collective breath as Man of Steel gears up for release, it seems that the studio is turning its attention to some of the lesser known titles in the DC stable – namely, the long-running comic book series Fables, created by writer Bill Willingham.

Now, given the current popularity of the ABC fairytale series Once Upon A Time – which some believe to be heavily influenced by the aforementioned comic – it’s not surprising that Warners has found a director for the long-planned adaptation.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Danish director Nikolaj Arcel has been handed the reins for Fables, with a script by Jeremy Slater (Fantastic Four). Producers David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford (the Harry Potter series) are also on board.

Since fairytale movies are perhaps the third most popular genre for development executives – behind superhero/comic book movies and and stuff based on toys or board games – a project based on a fairytale-themed comic seems like a no-brainer. After reports from a year ago that Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows director David Yates could helm an adaptation of the comic series, news on the property went quiet.

fables movie adaptation DC Comics Fables Film Adaptation Moving Forward with New Director

The concept of Fables sees well-known characters like Snow White, Prince Charming, and the Big Bad Wolf living in a pocket of New York City called “Fabletown,” having been forced out of their Homeland (basically, a different universe) after it was conquered by “The Adversary.”

With 12 Eisner Awards for its art and storytelling under its belt, the comic is well-regarded and was in development as a TV series first at NBC (which would go on to produce the fairytales-in-the-real-world police procedural Grimm) in 2005, and then ABC in 2008, the latter to have been directed by American Horror Story’s David Semel and written by Stu Zicherman and Raven Metzner (Six Degrees). Neither project made it past the scripting stage.

Director Nikolaj Arcel’s previous effort was the well-liked (and Oscar nominated) A Royal Affair, which starred Hannibal‘s Mads Mikkelsen and followed a young queen who has an affair with her physician. Arcel has also reportedly been tapped to steer a big screen semi-remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Rebecca - which is no small task, and not a job to be handed out to just anyone.

With Marvel hitching some of their lesser-known titles (Ant-Man) to gifted directors (Edgar Wright), a big screen version of Fables with this director feels like a signal that DC is adopting a similar tactic with it’s more obscure properties. While it’s true that Fables has nothing to do with the DC Universe, a project like this might be a good way to test the waters with some of it’s niche series. Still, though the basic premise works well on the small screen, whether or not it can fit inside a single two-hour movie is another question altogether.

What do you think, Screen Rant readers? Do you want to see Fables on the big screen? Let us know in the comments.


Stay tuned for more news regarding the Fables film adaptation.

Source: THR

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
TAGS: Fables
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  1. Take those risks, Warner. Hopefully this turns out great.

  2. Best news i have heard all week. I only just started reading this series only a few months back and i am hooked on it

  3. I love Fables but what happened to the Y:The Last Man?

    • movie adaptation

    • Same as this. They just got off from development hell and not in search of a director.

      Personally though, I would prefer it that they just turn it into a tv adaptation on a cable channel.

      • Y:TLM would make a great new AMC series to go along with The Walking Dead. Somebody make this happen!

        • I doubt any channel would be gutsy enough to approve a show with only one male cast member.

          New Line Cinema screwed the pooch when they failed to get a movie adaptation off the ground even with Shia LeBeouf interested.

          • Thank goodness that didn’t happen, I can’t stand Shia LeBeouf.

            • @FILTHpig

              Agreed. Shia is unbearable to watch.

              • Except in lawless he did rather well, not as good as jason clarke and tom hardy tho

  4. Sounds like a great movie ,but I wonder if abc/Disney would want to compete against DC

    • Given that Disney now owns Marvel, they basically already are.

  5. Let’s hope this doesn’t end up in development hell like when NBC and ABC tried to adapt it. It seems TV channels have a really big disdain for comic books in general, because both these channels turned down Fables only to develop very similar shows(Grimm and Once Upon a Time) later on.

    This deep hatred of comic books even extends to Warner’s own channels: The CW cancelled Global Frequency for no reason at all even though the pilot was well-received, and Cartoon Network turned down Dial H for Hero because they didn’t want to pay a cent in licencing fees to DC and instead greenlighted the very similar Ben 10.

  6. I’ve never heard of the Fables before, and while its good that DC is using some of its more obscure characters, why not adapt the less obscure ones (FLASH,Wonder Woman, Hawkman/Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, etc.) first? I really wish they would, I’ve been waiting a looooonngggg time for my Flash Movie.

    • Agreed, this is not the DC movie we deserve… ;)

  7. You know, if any comic book is turned into a TV series, it should be Preacher.

    Otherwise, I think we should get a proper Hellblazer movie. Or somehow work The Sandman series into a movie or TV show.

    Reminds me of the time Terry Gilliam was hired to direct Watchmen and he said “This would be better suited to an ongoing TV series rather than a movie”. They subsequently fired him, hired someone else then fired that person as filming started and replaced him with Zack Snyder who did a decent job but I dunno….some things are better suited to movies and others are better on TV.

    As long as we don’t have any more zombies because that fad has been around for a decade now and I’m bored. I wouldn’t mind if every now and then we had a zombie appear in film or TV but when it’s everywhere you look….

    • Sandman would be excellent, but I’d want the true visual horror from the books in every episode. Maybe HBO or someone similar could pull that off?

      Hellblazer needs to be done correctly. Make a trilogy out of it. I think someone like Guillermo Del Toro would be a good fit.

  8. HBO could make this into an excellent series but tv wise I’m actually happy it didn’t happen on basic cable. If the do a movie hopefully it won’t be be hokey avengers style bull. And this is one of the best comic series I’ve ever read screw the mainstream like flash and wonderwoman.

  9. Making a movie would be so awesome ! But I’d rather watch like a series. It would be more complex and detailed.

  10. I think telltale games has been doing fairly well with the wolf among us game. It probably should be an animated series, the different stories and fables would be too much to bear with.

  11. I love the fables series from the comics to the game wolf among us. I can’t wait to see a film. Just make sure it does the series justice.