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Kieran Bew, William Hurt among all-star cast


ITV has announced the cast for its upcoming new 13-part drama Beowulf, a re-imagining of one of literature’s greatest and most enduring heroes.

Kieran Bew (Da Vinci’s Demons, The Bletchley Circle) has been cast to play the lead role of Beowulf. He will be joined by multi award winning actor William Hurt (Humans, Kiss of the Spider Woman) who will play Hrothgar and acclaimed actress Joanne Whalley (Wolf Hall, Jamaica Inn) who takes on the role of Rheda.

Ed Speleers (Downton Abbey) has been cast in the role of Slean and David Ajala (Black Box) will play Rate.

Created by James Dormer (Strike Back, Wallander, Outcast) , Tim Haines (Primeval, Sinbad, Walking With Dinosaurs) and Katie Newman (Primeval: New World), Beowulf is essentially, a western set in the mythical Shieldlands in the Dark Ages of Britain’s mythic past. A place of spectacle and danger populated by both humans and fantastical creatures.

Further casting includes Ian Puleston- Davies (Coronation Street), Ellora Torchia (Indian Summers), Gisli Orn Gardarsson (Spooks and Spirits), Susan Aderin (The Last Detective), Kirsty Oswald (Ripper Street), Laura Donnelly (Outlander), Edward Hogg (Indian Summers), Alex Price (Father Brown), Jack Rowan (Silent Witness) and Itoya Osagiede (Okora: The Prelude).

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.

James Dormer who will write and executive produce 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, 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 by 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.  We’re delighted to be commissioning Beowulf and to be working with Tim Haines and his production team.”

Filming on Beowulf will begin in the North East on location in County Durham and Northumberland later this month for transmission on ITV.