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5 Fantasy Comic Books That Should Be Made into Movies

Fantasy is hotter than ever right now. On TV, fans of dragons and fractured fairy tales have Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, and Grimm. Gamers are currently avoiding work and friends in favor of logging hours in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim‘s vast magical world. And the coming year in movies boasts everything from updated takes on classics (Snow White and the Huntsman) to the first installment of Peter Jackson’s long-awaited The Hobbit.
Despite this groundswell, if you look at the coming year’s slate of comic book movies, you’ll find a lot of superheroes. Outside of the Conan the Barbarian movies — which drew from the character’s comic book stories (though technically he started out in short fiction) — there haven’t been any movies based on fantasy comics. (Yeah, 300 is somewhat fantastical, but it is ostensibly based in history.) Which is a shame, because there are a number of comics featuring fantasy tropes that are begging to be turned into the next blockbuster franchise. Take a look at five examples below.


the surface, Bill Willingham’s long-running “fairy tale characters
stuck in the real world” series has more than a passing resemblance to Once Upon a Time. In fact, a Fables pilot was developed by ABC a couple years back, only to be dumped for the very similar Once Upon a Time. While fans have cried foul, the epic story of Fables — which
follows the exploits of Snow White, The Big Bad Wolf, and other
fairytale characters in the real world after they’re banished from their
homeland by the mysterious Adversary — would be better suited for the
big screen. Far edgier and more action-oriented than Once Upon a Time, Fables could ride the wave of dark takes on fairy tales. Let the softer Once Upon a Time have the small screen — the war for the Homelands needs to be seen in a theater. 

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Jeff Smith’s beloved all-ages comic is like a cross between classic Disney movies and The Lord of the Rings with a dash of Looney Tunes
humor. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Hollywood has been
trying to adapt Smith’s gorgeous artwork into animation for years.
Nickelodeon came close, developing an animated movie that would have
ditched Smith’s fantasy quest story for more kid-friendly gags and pop
songs. Thankfully, that never materialized, though fans did a series of
animated Bone video games a few years back. Recently, Warner Bros. signed on director P.J. Hogan (Peter Pan) and screenwriter Patrick Sean Smith (Greek) to develop a Bone film with the animation house behind Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole. However, many fans believe that Smith’s artwork would be better served by traditional 2D animation. What’s Spirited Away director Hayao Miyazaki up to right now? 


way back in 1978, Richard and Wendy Pini’s cult series is the grandaddy
of fantasy comics. With numerous series published throughout the years,
Elfquest could provide tons of story fodder for filmmakers
looking to adapt the adventures of the many elf clans that live in the
world of Abode. Various stabs have been made to bring Elfquest to
television and the big screen, with occasional animation tests turning
up on YouTube to frustrate fans. Warner Bros. announced plans to produce
an Elfquest movie a few years back, but lately things have been
quiet. Recently a (NSFW) “fan imagining” video featuring Jessica Rose of Lonelygirl15 fame made waves on the Web. Will it be enough to ignite interest in an Elfquest movie? If not, Elfquest fans have learned how to wait. 

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Set during an alternate World War I where soldiers battle with magic and dragons, Arrowsmith is an entertaining concept that suggests what would happen if you mashed-up Reign of Fire with All Quiet on the Western Front. Writer Kurt Busiek (Astro City)
and artist Carlos Pacheco had planned more issues of their 2003
mini-series, but so far none have materialized. Unlike most fantasy
series, which come with tons of character baggage and fan expectations, Arrowsmith is a brisk, self-contained series that flew under the radar. And as high concepts go, it offers far more story potential than Cowboys & Aliens. With genre mash-ups also hot right now, Arrowsmith‘s mix of realistic war drama and high fantasy action could be the next Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter


One of DC Comics’ few fantasies, this series follows
the adventures of lost Vietnam Vet Travis Morgan, who becomes the
titular Warlord after he crash-lands in an ancient world hidden inside
the Earth. Drawing inspiration from Edgar Rice Burroughs (Warlord’s
world of Skartaris is very similar to Burrough’s Pellucidar), Warlord‘s man-out-of-place tale is very much in keeping with the famed author’s John Carter of Mars. If the upcoming John Carter does
well at the box office, Warlord could suddenly become a hot property in
Hollywood. (DC doesn’t realize the potential goldmine they’re sitting
on.) And since he looks an awful lot like DC hero Green Arrow
(artist/writer Mike Grell worked on both characters), a Warlord film
will keep Oliver Queen fans satiated for a while. 
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