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Friday, 20 March 2015

ITV Announces Cast for epic Beowulf adaptation

ITV has announced the cast for its epic re-imagining of one of literature's most enduring heroes Beowulf.

Kieran Bew is set to star as the eponymous hero whilst support will be provided by Oscar-winning actor William Hurt and acclaimed actress Joanne Whalley as Hrothgar and Rheda respectively.

The 13-part drama will also star Ed Speleers, David Ajala, Ian Puleston-Davies, Edward Hogg and Laura Donnelly.

Essentially, 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.

Beowulf is a series about courage, greed, betrayal, revenge, loyalty, power, man versus wilderness and, of course love.  It is a series that explores the notion of good and evil, heroes and villains.  However, beyond these wider political undercurrents and inner personal turmoils are the excitement, danger and sense of adventure that any great Western has.  Epic fights, thrilling chases, raids, celebrations and battles are an essential part of the promise.

Writer and executive producer James Dormer says of the drama, "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 - to let them own it again. To let them see themselves in it.”

ITV's Director of Drama Steve November said, “Beowulf is a series with a charismatic protagonist at its heart, equally it’s a spirited and fascinating ensemble drama with each character taking their own emotional and sometimes perilous journey.

Filming will commence next month in the North East of England

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