Beowulf mini-series being created for television

A thirteen episode mini-series of Beowulf is being created by the the British broadcaster ITV.

tale of beowulf - photo by KotomiCreations / Flickr

ITV announced this week that they have commissioned the epic drama, and filming will begin in April. In a press release, they say “this action-packed series is set in the mythical Shieldlands, a place of spectacle and danger populated by both humans and fantastical creatures. 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.

“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. And so begins a personal journey that sees this mighty and capable man slowly reconnect with the notion of family and home.”

One of the show’s creators James Dormer will also be the writer and executive producer. He explains, “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. 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.”

Steve November will be the director of the 13 episodes. “Beowulf is a series with a charismatic protagonist at its heart,” he added. “Equally it’s a spirited and fascinating ensemble drama with each character taking their own emotional and sometimes perilous journey.”

Beowulf has long been a popular source material for television and film. See some of these articles about recent big and small screen adaptations:

Making Sacrifices: Beowulf and Film

The Hero’s Journey: Beowulf, Film, and Masculinity

Drinking and Debauchery: Fifty Ways to Leave Your Beowulf (Butchered)

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