SyFy Develops 'Beowulf' TV Series, Lit Professors Quake in Fear

SyFy is saving itself a bundle on licensing by developing a TV series based on the earliest-known work in the English canon, Beowulf. Because you can't get more public domain than an epic poem by an anonymous author sometime between the 8th and 11th Centuries.

Beowulf, a mainstay of English Literature curriculums, has already had its share of adaptations, including the 2007 motion-captured CGI feature starring Angelina Jolie, a 2005 Sci-Fi Channel movie, and a bizarre 1999 science-fiction adaptation starring Christopher Lambert.

One would think that a work that's been around about a thousand years would have gotten a decent adaptation by now.

The much-maligned-by-students epic poem is fantastic fodder for a brutal cable TV series, featuring, as it does, some of the most metal scenes in all of literature, about a thousand years before metal even existed. Nearly every scene in the poem, from the titular warrior's youthful wrestling matches sea monsters, to his tearing the arm off of man-eating monster Grendel, to his bulls-eyeing the only exposed spot on a dragon, is Ron-Swanson-level manly.

Written by long-time horror scribe Matt Greenberg (1408Reign of Fire) the show will be about Beowulf's rise to power and his relationship with Grendel. It's unlikely the series will be at all helpful to students having to write reports.

Rick G. Rivera's picture
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