The Old English epic poem, Beowulf, is considered to be one of the most important and influential works of literature from the time period. It was written by an anonymous poet somewhere between the years 975 and 1025 and is set in Scandinavia in the 6th Century. Not only has the seminal work gone on to inspire a vast array of fantasy literature, but the dragon-slaying character from the poem has also been reproduced in various works. The movies and series based on Beowulf have been highly disappointing and haven’t done the original transcript justice, though. For this reason, a new Beowulf series may be the perfect solution.
Disappointing Movies and Series
There have been numerous movies based on Beowulf over the years, with the most notable being the 2007 offering from Robert Zemeckis which featured an all-star cast of Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, and John Malkovich. The film was a flop, however, and only made $196.4 million on a $160 million budget.
There was a recent series produced by ITV in the UK which also aired in the USA. Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands ran for 13 episodes in 2016, but it was met with mixed feedback and wasn’t picked up for another season. The main criticisms were that the special effects were cheap and the casting of Kieran Bew as Beowulf was a misfire. It also failed to stay true to the source material and introduced a number of original storylines instead.
Big Franchise Potential
Now could be the perfect time for a streaming service like Netflix to have another stab at making Beowulf into a viable series. When the ITV production came out, viewers’ fantasy and historical needs were satiated with Game of Thrones and Vikings, but now the former has finished and the latter is in its closing stages, there is a gap in the market for more of this type of programming.
Aside from the fact that viewers are hungry for more fantasy content, there could already be a readymade audience for Beowulf. The character has been represented in other media to good effect, and the various games that have included him are popular. One of the most-played games currently is the online casino title, Beowulf, which was developed by Pragmatic Play. The game is available at Casumo, where there are various promotions available for new players. To get started, players can see all the bonuses at Casumo listed here, and they even include a 200 percent first deposit bonus.
The Beowulf story also lends itself to console gaming, and there has already been a title based on the 2007 film. Ubisoft released Beowulf: The Game for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows in 2007, and it even featured voice actors from the film. Although it wasn’t particularly well-received, it did show the potential for future games with the character. Indeed, a modern open-world offering on the current generation of consoles could be a major hit.
The fact that a poem written around 1,000 years ago is still well-known today is a testament to the brilliance of it. It is disappointing that a film or series has never done the original work justice, but now could be the perfect time for Netflix or another streaming platform to have a stab at it.