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‘Fables’ Finally Making the Jump From Comics to the Big Screen?

Vertigo

Few comics have been as good for as long as ‘Fables,’ which debuted in 2002 and hasn’t lost a step since. The winner of 14 Eisner Awards, the series takes place in a world where every fictional character is real and living among us in secret, having been chased out of their homelands by a mysterious figure called “The Adversary.” Published under DC Comics’ Vertigo label, the series has almost made the jump to film or television a few times before, but it looks like a film adaptation is officially back on track.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, ‘A Royal Affair’ director Nikolaj Arcel is attached to direct, screenwriter Jeremy Slater (who worked on the upcoming ‘Fantastic Four‘ reboot) is penning the script, and David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford are set to produce. This is a case of the third time being the charm, with the 2004 film falling apart in development and a 2008 ABC television version never getting off the ground (although the network had no problems ripping it off for ‘Once Upon a Time‘).

It’ll be fascinating to watch how ‘Fables’ makes the leap to a new medium. Despite its initially whimsical premise and a cast that includes characters like the Big Bad Wolf, Snow White and Little Boy Blue, the series is a dense and thrilling fantasy epic that uses the iconography of fairy tales to tell what’s essentially a gripping war story. With well over 100 issues of content, there are dozens of story lines and numerous characters to draw from, but we imagine that the “March of the Wooden Soldiers” arc (which finds our heroes under assault from the armies of The Adversary) would make for a terrific film.

This complicated, beautiful and offbeat comic is a joy to read, so Arcel and Slater certainly have their work cut out for them. But we’ll be optimistic: it’s hard to imagine them screwing up something this good and inherently cinematic.

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