ITV announces epic new drama series based on the poem Beowulf

ITV has commissioned an epic new drama based on the story of one of literature’s greatest and most enduring heroes – Beowulf.

The action-packed 13-part series is set in the mythical Shieldlands, which is not just populated by humans but a host of fantastical creatures, too.

The series is inspired by an Old English poem which dates back to 8th-early 11th Century, and it begins with Beowulf, who has spent many years wandering as a mercenary warrior, returning to his former home, Herot, to pay his respects to Hrothgar, the man who raised him. But when Herot is attacked by the terrifying monster Grendl, Beowulf has no choice but to hunt down the beast.

It marks the beginning of an epic personal journey for the hero, who face many adventures and battles along the way.

No news on the cast or broadcast date, but the drama will be filmed on location in County Durham and Northumberland and shooting will begin in April.

Beaowulf’s executive producer and writer James Dormer said: “Hundreds of years ago our ancestors listened to the story of Beowulf because it was a great adventure story. It scared them, thrilled them, and made them laugh and cry. It’s incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to make it relevant again for a wide audience.”

ITV’s director of drama Steve November added: “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.”

The 2007 film Beowulf, which starred Sir Anthony Hopkins, was also based on the poem.