It’s been so long since it was first announced that Bill Willingham’s award-winning comic book series Fables was being adapted as a feature film that you’d be forgiven for thinking the project was no longer in the works. You’d be wrong, though, as producer David Heyman recently revealed that celebrated screenwriter Jane Goldman (Stardust, X-Men: First Class) is currently working on a draft for the project.
In an interview with Spinoff Online, the Paddington producer said Goldman is working with director Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) on the script for the Fables movie and acknowledged the long road to production the project has traveled.
“Jane Goldman is working on a draft as we speak,” said Heyman. “Nik Arcel is attached [to direct]. He did a draft, and now he’s supervising Jane, who’s doing a draft. Hoping that 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.”
Willingham’s long-running Fables series chronicled the adventures of the residents of Fabletown, a magically-hidden New York City neighborhood populated by living, breathing characters from storybooks and faery tales. Everyone from Snow White and Goldilocks to Pinocchio and the Big Bad Wolf (known as “Bigby Wolf”) go about their very real lives in the secret community after being forced to flee the fantasy realms they called home during a war with the mysterious entity known as The Adversary.
“I’m drawn to stories about outsiders,” Heyman said of his affinity for the project. “I think the Fables are outsiders. They’re people torn from the place where they were raised, by The Adversary. They arrive in a New York City-type place, and how we’re approaching 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.”
There’s no release date set for the Fables movie at this point, and it’s unknown when production will begin — but the fact thta Goldman is working on the script is a good sign, given how many films she’s worked on that have made the leap from page to screen. Her most recent project, Kingsman: The Secret Service, reunited her with her frequent collaborator, director Matthew Vaughn, and hits theaters next month. She’s also attached to pen the script for Tim Burton’s upcoming film Peregrine’s Home for Peculiars, which is expected to premiere in March 2016.