Jim Henson Company making live action Grendel movie

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Dave Bautista and Jeff Bridges lead a stacked cast which will flip the Beowulf story and presumably also feature a puppet or two in the mix.

Here’s a fine story to kick off the week. The legendary Jim Henson Company is set to make Grendel, a live action version of Beowulf, the epic tale of heroes, monsters and the clashes between them.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Palisades Park Pictures is launching sales for the project at the upcoming Cannes marketplace. We’ve seen the tale of Beowulf rendered on the silver screen before of course, with Robert Zemeckis' 2007 version re-telling the Old English epic poem through the medium of computer animation.

Although that film is sometimes floated as an example in debates about the merits or shortcomings of CGI experimentation, it boasted an impressive cast that included Ray Winstone, Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins, Robin Wright and Crispin Glover as Grendel (pictured above).

Not to be outdone, the upcoming project looks to be giving it a run for its money as far as casting goes. Dave Bautista will star as Beowulf, with Jeff Bridges also starring as the titular Grendel. According to the report, ‘Bryan Cranston set as King Hrothgar, Sam Elliott as The Dragon, Thomasin McKenzie as Queen Wealhtheow and Aidan Turner as Unferth. T Bone Burnett will also star and provide original songs for the film.’

Read more: Revisiting the performance-capture animated films of Robert Zemeckis

We’re curious to see how the story for this one will play out. Grendel is of course one of the original tale’s monstrous villains but this new version promises to re-tell this ancient story from the perspective of the monster instead.

Robert D Krzykowsk will direct, and he has offered a quick take on the project, stating: “Grendel represents everything I love about the movies. John Gardner’s mad masterpiece cleverly tackles what it is to be human through the wild-eyed lens of a monster,” said Krzykowski. “It’s an honour to work with such a remarkable group of storytellers, all of whom seek to bring something wonderful and unexpected to audiences now.”

Puppets from the storied Jim Henson studio, movie stars and a fresh take on an ancient monster movie? We’re looking forward to this.

We’ll bring you more on Grendel as we hear it.

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