Following the announcement three weeks ago of a 10-part Jekyll & Hyde series, ITV has announced this morning they have commissioned a 13-part drama based on another classic piece of literature, Beowful. Described as “an epic re-imagining of one of literature’s greatest and most enduring heroes,” the series is created by James Dormer (“Strike Back,” “Wallander,” “Outcast”), Tim Haines and Katie Newman.
Set in the mythical Shieldlands, a place of spectacle and danger populated by both humans and fantastical creatures. ITV calls the series “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.
“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,” Dormer who will write and executive produce the series said. “But they also listened because they recognized 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.”
“Beowulf is a series with a charismatic protagonist at its heart,” Director of Drama Steve November said. “Equally it’s a spirited and fascinating ensemble drama with each character taking their own emotional and sometimes perilous journey. We’re delighted to be commissioning Beowulf and to be working with Tim Haines and his production team,” he added.
Filming will begin in the North East in April 2015 for transmission on ITV. There are no casting details presently.