Assuming this latest rumour (and the talk of him being considered to direct The Hobbit) is anywhere near true, David Yates must feel like the sexiest bloke at the school disco right now, with studios crowding around him like sexed-up girls trying to win his attention with tarty lipstick nicked from their mum and promises of “special” things round the back of the bike sheds. But while we really let that metaphor get away from us, let’s back to word from Pajiba that he’s on the list to handle an adaptation of Bill Willingham’s graphic novel run Fables.
As the team themselves stress, this is nowhere near official, and, like the Hobbit stories, could well be shot down by Yates’ management team.
Still, while it’s another big chunk of fantasy source material, the man who handled the last two Harry Potter films, and who is still tinkering with the final two, is certainly a solid candidate to bring Willingham’s stories to the screen.
For those who have never read the graphic novel series, it follows a variety of fairytale characters forced en masse from their various domains by a Big Bad known by many names, but usually the Emperor or the Adversary.
Relocating to Earth, the likes of King Cole, Snow White, Cinderella and the rest have, over the years, settled into their own secret community in New York, which they informally call Fabletown, and hide out among us normal folk. Cole claims to run the place, but Snow White is the power behind the throne, sick of people bringing up her dwarf-filled history and long since divorced from Prince Charming (who, in a fun touch, went on to marry and lose both Cinders and Sleeping Beauty in turn). Cue rebellions, sex scandals and murders: this is not your typical fairytale - and if the movie sticks to the tone of the books, it will be hard-edged indeed.
Warner Bros. sucked the rights to the series into its gravity well when DC Entertainment took over the film deals for all Vertigo characters, and the studio has been trying to push it out into various media formats for a while now. There were rumours of a series for US network ABC a couple of years back, though not much has been heard about it.
And film-wise, it appears to be very early days for Fables, since no writer has been hired yet. Fables fans! Think it’s worth a shot? Would it work better on TV or the big screen? And if not Yates, who should get first crack?