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Beowulf story set for ITV

UK commercial broadcaster ITV has commissioned a 13-part drama re-imagining of the mythical fantasy story Beowulf.

ITV Studios is working up the series, with filming beginning in April next year ahead of an unspecified TX date.

ITV is billing the show as “a western set in the Dark Ages of Britain’s mythic past”. No cast has been revealed at this stage.

Writer James Dormer (Strike Back, Wallander) and ITVS pair Tim Haines (Primeval) and Katie Newman (Primeval: New World) created the show. The former 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.”

Haines, the former Impossible Pictures creative chief who is now ITVS’s creative director of drama, and Newman will executive produce. Stephen Smallwood (Ripper Street) will produce on location in the UK’s County Durham and Northumberland.

“Beowulf is a series with a charismatic protagonist at its heart,” said Steve November, ITV’s director of drama, who commissioned the programme. “Equally it’s a spirited and fascinating ensemble drama with each character taking their own emotional and sometimes perilous journey.”