Beowulf is once again set to head to our screens… this time, as an all-new TV drama, exclusive to ITV.
It’s no secret that Game of Thrones is immensely popular. It continues to dominate the ratings in both the US and UK… and now ITV is looking to get in on the act with their own hack and slash adventure – a Beowulf TV drama.
According to the official press release, ITV will be producing a 13-part adaptation of the Beowulf poem… presumably without Ray Winstone.
“Created by James Dormer, Tim Haines and Katie Newman, this action-packed series is set in the mythical Shieldlands, a place of spectacle and danger populated by both humans and fantastical creatures,” they reveal. “Essentially, a western set in the Dark Ages of Britain’s mythic past, the story unfolds on a huge canvas, filmed amongst the breathtaking beauty of England’s North East.”
Of course, the big question is how faithful this adaptation will be to the poem… and will it take any inspiration from the recent Robert Zemeckis adaptation?
“The first episode sees Beowulf who, after spending many years wandering as a mercenary warrior, returns to Herot to pay his respects to the recently deceased Thane, Hrothgar – the man who raised him. But when Herot is attacked by the terrifying monster Grendl, Beowulf has no choice but to hunt it down, winning favour with Herot’s new female Thane, and the wider community, in the process.”
It certainly sounds as though ITV will be pulling out all the stops for this epic adventure series… but as for who will play Beowulf, for now we’ll have to wait and see.
Still, directed by James Dormer of Wallander, I get the feeling we’re in for a bit of a treat. And it seems he’s rather excited by the project, too.
“Hundreds of years ago our ancestors listened to the story of Beowulf because it was a great adventure story – it scared them, thrilled them, made them laugh and cry,” he said. “But they also listened because they recognised themselves and their fears in it. By holding a mirror up to them this story helped define them and thus – us. So it’s incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to make it relevant again for a wide audience – to let them own it again. To let them see themselves in it.”
Will Beowulf prove to be as popular as Game of Thrones? I can’t help thinking it has a bit of an uphill battle where that’s concerned… but for fans of epic adventures, it’s another series to get stuck into while waiting for Season Five of Game of Thrones.
And that has to be a good thing, right?
What do you think of this upcoming Beowulf adaptation? Who would you like to see in the lead role? Let us know what you think in the comments below…