Almost a decade ago there were television networks who wanted to capitalize on the crazy success of the multiple Eisner award winning comic Fables by transforming it into a series. From that point on fans of the fantasy comic were continually disappointed by various networks as they took small aspects of the story and turned it into shows like Grimm or Once Upon A Time. After a certain point, a lot of fans were convinced that if Fables didn’t get the attention of the successful cable networks like AMC or HBO at this point that it would never be turned into a live-action anything… that is, until yesterday.
Earlier yesterday afternoon it was announced that Fables would not be turned into a television show…but it would be a film. A foreign, Oscar-nominated director (Nikolaj Arcel) is set to take on the film along with a screenwriter (Jeremy Slater) whose recent writing experience deals with another comic book property, Fantastic Four. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the comic, Fables focuses on a group of childhood fantasy book characters, from Snow White to Blackbeard, who have been exiled out of their Homelands centuries ago after a fierce battle with a foe known as the Adversary. Now the remaining fairy-tale creatures hide in present day New York City as they try to stay out of reach from said Adversary and live quiet, normal lives. Well, not completely normal.
The idea of a rich story like Fables suddenly turning into what could be the start of a successful movie franchise is exciting to watch. But after the first wave of anticipation washes over us, you have to sit back and think: well, how are they going to spread the comic out? Will they be going straight into the major story dealing with the Adversary within the first movie, or will they spread it out within the span of three films, turn it into a trilogy (which is very doable)? There are a number of stories and characters they can try to use within the first movie, so that’s where this list comes in. Because the filmmakers need to know what HAS to be in what we assume (please!) will be the first Fables movie of many.
10. Flycatcher And Boy Blue
These two characters turn from silly little sidekicks within the first couple of stories into a couple of the biggest heroes in the big battle that takes place later on. All I’m saying is that it would be nice if we get to see them at least once. Boy Blue and Flycatcher have small roles in both the Farms and the Rose Red mystery, so obviously my wish will come true. I just really do hope that they’ll cast properly for these two. If they bring any sort of annoying young Disney teenyboppers who can’t act their way out of a paper bag to take on either of these two roles, there might be a Nose Red from the bleeding aneurysm I’ll be contemplating having.
9. Prince Charming’s Snarky Attitude
The Prince Charming that you know and love from the fairy tales is non-existent in the Fables universe. The elegance and gentlemanly traits that one would normally associate with his character are thrown out, replaced with a lust for money and any woman he can get his hands on. It’s well known at the beginning of the comic that he and Snow White are divorced due to his sexual relations with her sister, Rose Red, so that should inform you plenty about his libidinous ways. He’ll go to great lengths not only to stay in power with his own social standings but with the ladies too. He’s a rather despicable character throughout the first few volumes, but he grows on you. Like an infection.
8. Drama on the Farms
All I really want to see is the homicidal Goldilocks and some of the other animals on the Farms try to hunt down Snow White. Without spoiling too much of the story, the revolt that happens on he Farms has a lot to do with rebuilding the relationship between the sisters Snow White and Rose Red; it’s a cool little story and it shows how different and dangerous their worlds are compared to what we’re used to in the children’s books. Actually, all I really want to see is some of those animals, like one of the Three Bears, with a rifle in its hands. Because I’ve always been in favor of the right to arm bears.
7. The World Of Our Fairy Tale Exiles
The brilliant thing about the overall look for whatever sets will be made for Fables is that they can be done practically without too much effort, with the only real kind of CG we’ll have to see coming from some of the animals and more mystical creatures. Yes, I know we’re able to see what the worlds look like in the comic, but it will be such a treat to see these environments come to life, particularly the ballroom that they have for Remembrance Day. The comic contains very lush, detailed-yet-simple backdrops so it’ll be a delight to see how those assigned to the film elaborate on the wonderful illustrations. Let me emphasize: elaborate on the wonderful illustrations! Ignore them at your peril, people.
6. The Creatures
Since we’re dealing with a flurry of mystical creatures, ranging from Shere Khan to the Three Pigs, we will have to see them at some point running around with the rest of the Fabletown folk. When they’re at the Farms there are so many characters who are creatures that Snow White and Rose Red talk to. Another aspect of this that will be cool to see is who they’ll have as some of the voice actors for a couple of the major animals. After all, we can’t just have them oink and growl at Snow White and Rose Red. They do have voices of their own, eat and get drunk like the rest of the humans they know.
5. Talk, but Don’t Show Us the Adversary Yet
If they’re looking to really take advantage of the wonderful stories within Fables, then one would only imagine that the first big story arc dealing with the Adversary would stretch out into three movies. That being said, we do hope that they don’t give away the big reveal of who the main villain is just yet. Maybe the wooden soldiers attack could spring in towards the end of the first movie, but it wouldn’t exactly make sense. Again, to those who are creating this movie, please don’t reveal the name of the villain just yet. Please! It’s too good to let out in the first film.
4. Rose Red’s Drama
There are a lot of problems that Snow White has to deal with as the director of operations within Fabletown. She’s essentially the number one aide to Mayor King Cole, so she already deals with a lot. Then there’s her sister, Rose Red, whom she doesn’t have the best relationship with at the moment. Rose Red parties, drinks and did at one point sleep with her sister’s husband (now former); she gets herself into a lot more trouble in Fabletown and the Farms as the story begins. The dynamic between the two, and how they manage to even work together at one point, is really fun to read in the comics, and if the White-Red relationship is as strong onscreen, I’ll be tickled pink.
3. The Gradual Romance Between Bigby Wolf & Snow White
If there’s no build up to what will be going on between Snow White and Bigby Wolf on the romantic spectrum, then I’ll be a bit pissed off. Their romance began evolving right off the bat in the comics and hopefully will do so in the movie, from the tiny taste of her he insists upon initially to their accidental breeding of seven cubs before their first date. Awkward.
2. The Battle Begins… A Little
Honestly, looking back at the first couple of big story arcs in Fables, it isn’t too much of a struggle to imagine how a movie could be sculpted out of the Rose Red mystery and the revolt going on at The Farms. The skeletal work for what could fit within the first movie is pretty much there, though we’ll probably get more talk about the Adversary and his threat on them still in the film. I can’t wait to see how much of the Homelands they’ll show in this movie! Presumably that will depend upon the budget.
1. Snow White & Company In The Flesh
It’s one thing to read the issues of Fables and see the kinds of adventures that Snow White, Bigby Wolf and the others get into. It’ll be quite a different experience when we see these fantasy characters rise to life on the big screen. All right, it’s common knowledge that most of these fairy tale, children’s book characters have been animated or received some kind of live-action treatment for decades, but Bill Willingham’s own creative interpretation of these universally beloved characters is unique and it’ll be a blast seeing a cocky Prince Charming interact with a repulsed and bitchy version of Snow White, or a smartass Pinocchio talking to the carefree and goofy Flycatcher (The Frog Prince). Speaking of these characters, can we start a petition to get Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Bigby Wolf? He always came off as the right actor for the job.