Epic poem Beowulf heading to TV

Contributed by
Mar 12, 2015, 5:23 PM EDT

A new re-imagining of Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf is heading to TV, boasting quite the stellar cast. Deadline reports that Da Vinci’s Demons actor Kieran Bew has been cast in the lead role of the mighty heroic warrior, Beowulf, who battles and slays Grendel, a terrifying monster that roamed and terrorized the mythical Shieldlands during Britain's Dark Ages, spurring the creature’s mother into a deadly, bloody attack.

The Game of Thrones-esque 13-episodes series will be produced by ITV Studios in the UK, and is the brainchild of James Dormer (Strike Back), Tim Haines (Primeval) and Katie Newman (Primeval). Dormer will pen the series as well as executive-produce it.

Along with Bew (Crusoe, Waking the Dead) — who played bad guy Duke Alfonso of Calabria in the second season of Starz’s Da Vinci’s Demons — the action-packed new series will also star movie legend William Hurt in the role of the mythical Danish king Hrothgar. He is joined by Ed Speleers (Downton Abbey), who is returning to his fantasy roots in the role of Slean, and Joanne Whalley (Willow, The Borgias, Wolf Hall) as Rheda.

Also rounding out this amazing cast are David Ajala (Black Box), Ian Puleston-Davies (Coronation Street), Ellora Torchia (Indian Summers), Gisli Orn Gardarsson (Spooks and Spirits), Susan Aderin (The Last Detective), Kirsty Oswald (Ripper Street), Laura Donnelly (Jamie's sister Jenny on Outlander), Edward Hogg (Indian Summers), Alex Price (Doctor Who, Father Brown), Jack Rowan (Silent Witness) and Itoya Osagiede (Okora: The Prelude). James Dormer said of the upcoming project:

“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.”

Filming on Beowulf is set to begin in late March 2015 in the UK, and the series will air sometime on ITV later this year. No word on when it will air in the U.S. yet. Are you looking forward to a new version of the Old English epic poem Beowulf?

(via Deadline, Radio Times)