Years ago, when the Vertigo Comics series Fables was particularly popular, Warner Bros. was talking about making a movie based on it, and for a long time Harry Potter director David Yates was attached to direct it with it being produced by that franchise’s David Heyman.
Not that long ago, Yates dropped out of the project, and when you see Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them it might be obvious why, because the two projects certainly have similarities, dealing with fantasy and magic brought into the real world, specifically New York City.
When LRM spoke with Heyman and Yates at the Fantastic Beasts junket last week, we asked them both about the project, firstly asking Yates whether the similarities were why he dropped out of the project.
“Do you know what's really strange? I'll tell you what's really odd,” he said. “There were two things I was quite intrigued by when I first came out of Potter. Fables was one of them, the comic book, and there was a book by J.P. Donleavy called A Fairy Tale of New York--fascinating book. I was intrigued by both and they both were about these characters arriving in New York, and New York was a context and weirdly, several years later, this script (for Fantastic Beasts) turns up. I read it and I go, ‘Oh, my God, there's something about both of those properties now that exist within this screenplay.’ It was really strange--it was a flukey feeling. I didn't get to make either of those. Fables, in the end, didn't feel quite right to me somehow, and Fairy Tale of New York, we couldn't get the rights quite right. J.P. Donleavy wasn't quite ready to let them go without some proprietorial opportunity--he wanted to write it and I wasn't convinced, then Jo (aka JK Rowling) delivered this script and it was sort of in a way ... You're right.”
Later, during our interview with producer David Heyman, we asked him if he’s planning on staying aboard adapting Fables now that he’s busy with Fantastic Beasts.
“At the moment, (we’ve) put a pin on it,” he told us. “Bill Willingham’s writing something, so we’ll see. He’s going to write and see what comes, but we need to make it distinct, if we were to do it. You’re right, there are certain connections to that.”
Look for our full interviews with both Yates and Heyman next week when Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is Released.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters on November 18, 2017.