DID YOU READ

ADAPT THIS: “Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love” by Chris Roberson and Shawn McManus

ADAPT THIS: “Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love” by Chris Roberson and Shawn McManus (photo)

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With Hollywood turning more of its attention to the world of graphic novels for inspiration, I’ll cast the spotlight on a new comic book each week that has the potential to pack a theater or keep you glued to your television screens. At the end of some “Adapt This” columns, you’ll also find thoughts from the industry’s top comic creators about the books they’d like to see make the jump from page to screen.


This Week’s Book: “Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love” by Chris Roberson and Shawn McManus

The Premise: Popular storybook heroine Cinderella may seem like a man-crazy, shoe-obsessed ditz to the world at large, but she’s hiding a big secret: she’s actually one of the greatest spies who ever lived. Tasked with investigating the black-market sale of magical weapons, Cinderella’s investigation has her crossing paths with Aladdin, Puss in Boots, and a variety of other famous (and not-so-famous) characters in this spinoff from Bill Willingham’s award-winning Fables comic book series.

The Pitch: While a television series and/or movie based on Fables has been in the works for years now and suffered countless setbacks, an adaptation of Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love might actually be the best introduction to the wide-reaching universe Willingham has created. Unlike the first volume of Fables, much of Cinderella takes place outside the magical world of Fabletown, with the well-known character finding adventure in our mundane world (along with the occasional cameo from her fellow fables).

Along with the obvious appeal of an attractive female lead, a Cinderella television series would also serve up the architecture of the greater Fables universe in bite-size, episodic chunks. In many ways, this could solve one of the major problems in developing a live-action Fables series: the potential to overwhelm new audiences with the sheer number of characters, places, and stories that make up the world of Fables.

Combining action, espionage, and liberal doses of comedy as its main character strives to maintain her cover as the flaky owner of a shoe store, Cinderella would likely fill a genre niche similar to shows like “Alias” or “Covert Affairs.” And though it would certainly find an audience among comic book and fantasy fans, it also has name recognition among anyone familiar with the character’s storybook tale of glass slippers and fairy godmothers — which, let’s face it, is pretty much everyone.

As for Cinderella herself, it’s not difficult to see the career-building potential in the role. A talented actress would be able to show off her action chops, but also showcase her range when the series delves into more comedic or — on the other side of the spectrum — dramatic elements. Think “Alias” meets “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and you’re on the right track.

The Closing Argument: It’s no secret that everyone wants an adaptation of Fables to both meet the high standards of its source material and illustrate why the series is so beloved by its fans. The big question, however, is how to find a way into the series’ universe without scaring away mainstream audiences. Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love could very well be the answer.

Mixing real-world spy drama with a manageable number of well-known storybook characters, Cinderella offers a taste of the greater Fables universe without requiring anything more from its audience than a passing knowledge of the stories that made Cinderella and a few other well-known characters famous. If handled properly, that taste of a larger universe that Cinderella offers is very likely to have audiences clamoring to know more, leaving the door wide open for exploring other corners of the faerie-tale world Willingham has created.


Would “Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love” make a good television series? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

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It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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