Syfy Developing ‘Beowulf’ into TV Series with ’1408′ Writer

Published 9 months ago by

Ray Winstone in Beowulf Syfy Developing Beowulf into TV Series with 1408 Writer

If there’s been one major problem with television this year, it’s that there are far too many excellent shows on and finding enough hours in the day to watch them all can be exhausting. Luckily there’s a little more room to breathe right now, with Breaking Bad having concluded its fifth and final season, and shows like Hannibal, Orphan Black and Game of Thrones all currently between seasons.

The latter show is a titan amongst current historical fantasy dramas, with 5.4 million viewers tuning in to watch the season 3 finale and no doubt more fans being acquired through DVD sales and reruns in the lead-up to season 4. Perhaps influenced by Games of Thrones‘ success, cable channel Syfy now has plans to throw its own new contender into the historical fantasy niche.

THR reports that SyFy has tapped screenwriter Matt Greenberg (1408) to adapt the classic Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf into a TV series. The show is being produced for SyFy by Universal Cable Productions, the company behind Warehouse 13, and Omnifilm Entertainment.

Reign of Fire poster Syfy Developing Beowulf into TV Series with 1408 Writer

The original poem tells the story of a Scandinavian hero who aids a Danish king by slaying a local monster called Grendel and then, for good measure, slays Grendel’s mother as well. The last screen version was Robert Zemeckis’ 2007 animated film, which starred Ray Winstone as the hero, Crispin Glover as Grendel and Angelina Jolie as Grendel’s mother.

This tale of Nordic warriors and slobbery monsters is a rich tapestry that could offer plenty of mileage if adapted into an episodic format; Grendel and his mother are essentially hand-picked season-arching Big Bads. However, Greenberg might not be the best choice to helm this particular venture. His biggest claims to fame aside from 1408 are a co-writing credit on Halloween H20 and another on the fairly dismal 2002 dragon movie Reign of Fire.

It is worth noting that 1408, the most recently released film that Greenberg worked on, is probably also the best. Until we know more about Beowulf – and other upcoming Syfy projects like Dominion and Alien Hunter, it’s best to stick to a policy of keeping everything crossed and hoping that they’re worth watching. Then again, it might be kinder to our TV-viewing schedules if they’re not.

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Source: THR

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9 Comments

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  1. “Nordic Warriors and slobbery monsters”….well, I am Danish, and I probably fought a few of them in my time back in my younger days (“slobbery monsters”), so why not? We’ll call it a Goldilocks bio-pic! Seriously, though, don’t know if there is enough there to make a series out of (although I enjoyed the original epic poem…I love Epic Poetry). However, History Channel did OK with “Vikings”, so if they make it, I’ll give it a shot.

  2. SciFi has been pretty consistent in the quality of their (non-reality) programming. They’ve got a lot in the works now and if any of it gets off the ground it should be interesting to watch. I’m hoping they get into some more genre stuff like this.

  3. Hopefully it’s just a “one and done” season that tells this version of the story over the course of 2 months and that’s it rather than try to go for 50 episodes in season 1 and then have season 2 etc like most US shows.

  4. How can this stretch this poem out into a TV series? They only way they can do this is by adding unnecessary filler that will bog the greatness of the poem.

  5. If it’s a full series and not just a limited series I imagine it’ll be the many adventures of Beowulf, with him slaying monsters all over the place. I don’t think it’ll just be the poem.

  6. I didn’t like 1408 or Beowulf so I probably wont bother with this, I did seem to be the only person who enjoyed Reign of Fire granted I haven’t seen it since it was released so maybe I just forgot how bad it was?

    • You aren’t the only person who liked “Reign of Fire”…I quite enjoyed the film.

  7. “Beowulf” is my favorite epic poem and an exciting story in poetic AND prose forms. I look forward to seeing how this series develops, as I would love to see the adventures of the titular hero that make him the legend Hrothgar hopes for by the time Beowulf visits the haunted land of the Geats.

    Here’s hoping…

  8. Can’t wait for “Dominion”! First time I’ve heard about “Alien Hunter.” A “Beowulf” series? Well, I suppose they could stretch it out, if they included other monsters, etc.

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