Jane Goldman Begins Spinning Fables

New screenwriter for the Vertigo comics adaptation

It's been a good 18 months since we last heard any news about the film adaptation of DC/Vertigo Comics' Fables. At that point Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) had just come aboard as director, with Jeremy Slater (The Lazarus Effect and the new Fantastic Four) writing the script. Since then it's been eerily quiet, but producer David Heyman has just revealed that development is ongoing, and that Jane Goldman is now taking a crack at the screenplay.

Goldman is, of course, no stranger to putting comics on the screen, having previously written Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class and the incoming Kingsman: The Secret Service. She also penned the adaptations of Neil Gaiman's Stardust and Susan Hill's The Woman In Black, with more than a modicum of success.

"Jane is working on a draft of Fables as we speak," says Heyman. "Nik Arcel [who's still attached to direct] did a draft, and now he’s supervising Jane, who’s doing a draft. Hopefully it’ll come in and we’ll be able to move to the next stage. All these things always take longer than you want. And Fables is not easy, by any means, but I think it’ll be pretty great."

Bill Willingham created Fables for Vertigo in 2002, crafting the story of fairy tale characters forced en masse from their various domains by an enemy 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, hidden among us normal folk (unless they look like monsters or weird creatures, in which case they live at 'the Farm'). 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).

"I’m drawn to stories about outsiders," Heyman continues, "and I think the Fables are outsiders. They’re people torn from the place where they were raised, by the Adversary. Our aproach is that they’re people who are all separate, and how they ultimately have to form the community in order to survive. They’re all inhabiting their own little universes within this world. But they have to form this community, and that really appealed to me. I just think the characters are so vivid. And I also think the Farm is, again, very human. That’s what I like. It’s a challenging film."

Fables is still some way off then, but at least it's still moving forward. The Goldman-penned Kingsman: The Secret Service is out in the UK on January 29.