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From the Panel to the Screen: Fables Coming to Network TV

Posted by Sarah LeBoeuf On December - 8 - 2008

I hadn’t even had my fourth cup of coffee yet this morning when I came across this startling news: Vertigo’s Fables, my favorite comic series, is in the process of being adapted for a network television show. Should I be excited, or horrified? Hit the jump for more information about Fables: The TV Series (not actual name).

This news comes courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, and according to the article, Stu Zicherman and Raven Metzner of Six Degrees are working on a script for the pilot, which will be an hour-long drama on ABC. It will be directed by David Semel, and a quick internet search reveals him as an accomplished TV director with some of my favorite shows ever (particularly American Dreams and Buffy the Vampire Slayer) under his belt. The writers are apparently big fans of Fables, which hopefully means they won’t completely destroy it while adapting it for television audiences.

I really don’t know what to make of this. On the one hand, if done right, a Fables TV show could be cool, and a good way to bring one of the most consistently fantastic comic series to life and introduce it to new viewers. On the other hand, adaptations for the big or small screen often do not do justice to the source material. As a former screenwriting student, I know how hard it is to adapt a written work for viewing audiences. I just want them to do the series justice.

No word on when we can expect to see Fables on ABC, but I will keep you guys posted. Anyone else excited or troubled by this news?

4 Responses so far
  1. Shawn Said,

    I’ve always said when a singular IP travels from one medium to another it should re-invent itself. A Fables comic book cannot be a Fables t.v. series and vice versa. The core of Fables, it’s use of storybook figures, how they “live” and the rules governing them, should remain. The rest should be given new life, and accentuate the strengths of the television medium.

    The “Batman” property/character is a perfect example. The Batman comics from any era is not The Batman Animated Series. Which in turn, is not Batman Begins/The Dark Knight. Yet the core essence of the “Batman” remains, and through such creators as Miller, Dini and Nolan he is played to the strengths of each medium.

    That being said, one thing networks seem to shy away from is the “fantasy” element that dominates Fables. Shows such as Lost and Pushing Daisies give you just enough to remind the audience they’re not watching CSI or West Wing, but seem to pull back more often that not. Whereas, Fables is just dripping with the fantasy element(in a good way!).

    Only time will tell, as always, and I never pass judgement on something I haven’t seen. I have been with Fables since issue 1(it’s one of 4 books my extremely tight wallet still makes room for) so I look forward to whatever comes from this.

    Posted on December 9th, 2008 at 9:24 PM

  2. Luke Brown Said,

    I’m pretty sure during the entire first arc of the book, that the fantasy elements were very minimal, to the extent of barely seeing any of the Fables use any power or abilities. So at least if they follow that story to open, it could work. As to what happens after that… good luck.

    Posted on December 10th, 2008 at 8:42 AM

  3. Jill a.k.a. The Nerdy Bird Said,

    I for one am very excited about this and I hope the pilot gets picked up. I wrote about it on my blog and was surprised that a lot of people were skeptical due to ABC being owned by Disney.

    Check out the comments:

    Posted on December 16th, 2008 at 10:41 PM

  4. Sarah LeBoeuf Said,

    I will remain cautiously optimistic until I hear or see more. Like I said, I love Fables, and I have no problem with a Disney-owned company producing this show. I’m just afraid of two things: one, it will be a god-awful adaptation; two, it will actually be awesome and I’ll fall in love with it and it will get canceled.

    In reality it will probably be somewhere in between.

    Posted on December 17th, 2008 at 6:54 AM

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