‘Grendel’ Series Not Moving Forward At Netflix
It’s not uncommon for a TV series to get canceled after a season or two, and it’s very common for studios to produce pilots that never make it to the air. But that’s not what happened with Grendel, the TV series version of the long-running indie comic from writer/artist Matt Wagner.
Last fall, Netflix ordered an eight-episode season of Grendel starring Abubakr Ali in the title role. When they announced the show, they said it would follow Hunter Rose (Ali), “a gifted fencer, writer and assassin as, seeking to avenge the death of a lost love, he goes to war with New York's criminal underworld, only to realize...why beat them, when you can join them?” The showrunner was Andrew Dabb, and the cast also included Jaime Ray Newman, Julian Black Antelope, Madeline Zima, and Kevin Corrigan
But now, a little over one year after the show was first unveiled, comes word that Netflix has decided not to move forward with the show. According to Deadline, this isn’t a matter of the studio not liking the scripts that were written or rejecting a pilot; they write that “the decision was made after Grendel had filmed multiple episodes. Production had not finished, so there is currently a partial eight-episode season in the can.”
Supposedly the show’s producers have the option to try to find a new home for the series, which is based on a comic from Dark Horse Entertainment, the company behind Hellboy and The Mask. Here was Wagner’s comment on the announcement that Grendel was becoming a TV series last year:
I couldn’t be more thrilled about the GRENDEL saga, one of the longest-running independent comics series, finally being translated into live-action for the screen. Under the sharp guidance of showrunner Andrew Dabb, our incredible creative team, sure-to-be stellar cast and Dark Horse Entertainment have teamed with Netflix to produce this provocative adaptation that will bring my characters and concepts to an all new audience and yet still provide excitement and surprises for die-hard fans. I'm especially excited to see Abubakr Ali bring the character of Grendel/Hunter Rose to life -- he has the charisma, style and vital edginess that I've been envisioning in the role for years.
Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter tweeted that it’s “not clear if it’s a quality issue, a budget issue, or a ‘too nice’ issue” behind Netflix’s decision. Either way, unless another streaming service or network is interesting, you won’t get to see the performance that had Wagner so excited.