Several live-action adaptations of the comic series Fables have failed, but it could be the right time for the series to properly receive one. The popular comic book series Fables has had many failed attempts at a live-action adaptation, but could it eventually happen? Created and written by Bill Willingham, the series follows various iconic characters from fairy tales and folklore calling themselves “Fables” as they adjust to living alongside regular humans in contemporary New York City. Though the series has expanded into spin-off comics and video games, it’s never received a live-action adaptation.
Several live action adaptations of Fables have been attempted, but have never come to fruition. When NBC optioned Fables for development in 2005, it didn’t make it past the scripting stage. In its place, the police procedural Grimm was developed, which similarly features a world where fairy tale creatures secretly live alongside humans. ABC’s show Once Upon A Time features myths like Robin Hood as well; ABC developed Once Upon A Time instead of further advancing a Fables adaptation optioned in 2008. The last attempt at a live-action adaptation of Fables came in 2015, when Warner Bros began development on a film that was ultimately canceled quietly.
Every Upcoming & In-Development Warner Bros and DC Films have several upcoming DC movies in development, including a handful they plan on releasing before the end of 2023. DC movies are releasing within the next few years, and Warner Bros has even more in various stages of development. While the vast majority of live-action DC films remain part of the ongoing DC Extended Universe, which officially launched with Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016 (a follow-up to 2013’s Man of Steel), a handful of upcoming DC films are going to be standalone, in the vein of Todd Phillips’ Joker movie.
Over the past few years, WB has released 11 live-action DC movies – Man of Steel, Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Aquaman, Shazam!, Joker, Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman 1984, and most recently, The Suicide Squad – not counting the Snyder Cut – and the critical and commercial reception of each has ranged from being overwhelmingly negative to overwhelmingly positive, with a few landing in the middle. But things look to be on a good path going forward.
Studio head Walter Hamada is overseeing DC Films alongside Chantal Nong as VP of DC production, and their purview extends to all corners of the DC universe on the big screen. And it looks like they have their work cut out for them. With the Snyderverse being shelved, the DCEU is set to undergo a sort of reset in the coming years, with other DC movies existing alongside them thanks to the burgeoning multiverse the franchise is setting up.
Despite its adaptations never making it to the production stage, Fables has had success in other mediums. It has branched off into various comic spin-off titles and the wildly popular video game The Wolf Among Us. It’s possible that a Fables adaptation might still be able to happen, however. Now that Grimm, Once Upon A Time, and its fairy tale anthology spin-off Epic have all been canceled, it may be the best time for Fables to get the live-action treatment.