• The Jim Henson Company is working on an adaptation of
    , the John Gardner novel that flips the tale of
    to the perspective of the titular monster.
  • The movie has already cast its three leads, with Jeff Bridges playing Grendel, Dave Bautista playing Beowulf and Bryan Cranston playing King Hrothgar.
  • The
    movie has also lined up its supporting cast with Thomasin McKenzie, Aidan Turner and T Bone Burnett.

The Jim Henson Company’s live-action adaptation of Grendel has cast its principal characters. Based on the 1971 novel by John Gardner, the fantasy epic tells the story of the epic poem Beowulf from the perspective of the titular monster. Beowulf was adapted into a 2007 film directed by Robert Zemeckis, starring Ray Winstone as the titular hero, Crispin Glover as Grendel, Angelina Jolie as Grendel’s mother, and Anthony Hopkins as King Hrothgar. The Jim Henson Company’s adaptation will feature an entirely different cast and a different take on the story, instead adapting Gardner’s tale.

According to Variety, Grendel‘s three main roles have been cast, with Jeff Bridges as Grendel, Dave Bautista as Beowulf, and Bryan Cranston as King Hrothgar. Supporting roles have also been cast, including Thomasin McKenzie as Queen Wealhtheow, Aidan Turner as the warrior Unferth, and musician T Bone Burnett as the Shaper, a blind storyteller and harpist in Hrothgar’s court, with original music performed by Burnett. Grendel will be directed by Robert D. Krzykowski, best known for The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot.

Why This Could Be The Perfect Adaptation Of The Grendel Novel

The involvement of the Jim Henson Company and the casting choices are good signs for the upcoming Grendel movie. With Grendel being told through the eyes of the titular monster, and also featuring Grendel’s monstrous mother and a dragon, the adaptation needs stellar design to bring these creatures to life. There is no one better than the Jim Henson Company to take on this task, who will be handling all the practical creature work and design for the film.


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The critically acclaimed Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance series is one of many projects they have worked on that shows how their practical design can bring fantastical creatures to life in a way that is visually striking while also capturing a darker tone. Grendel is a dark and deeply existential story that ventures into strange territory at times, a mood and overall aesthetic that the Jim Henson Company is masterful at executing. This will be an improvement on the now dated motion capture animation used in the 2007 Beowulf film, which the Jim Henson Company was not involved in.

As for casting, Bridges is a compelling choice to take on the frustrated and lonely protagonist searching for meaning. Bautista has the physical prowess and the acting chops to take on Beowulf, who is villainous rather than heroic in this iteration of the classic tale. Cranston’s presence makes him an excellent choice for King Hrothgar. Casting for Grendel’s mother has not been announced, but it will be important as well, and should be an improvement on the portrayal in the Beowulf adaptation. All these elements make the Grendel film an exciting project that can do the source material justice.

Source: Variety

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