BEOWULF AND GRENDEL

CANADA/ICELAND/UK, 114 min.

director.gif (905 bytes) Sturla Gunnarsson

CAST

Gerry Butler - Beowulf
Stellan Skarsgård - King Hrothgar

Sarah Polley - Selma
Ingvar Eggert Sigurosson - Grendel
Tony Curran - Hondscioh
Eddie Marston - Brendan the Celt


BASED ON THE EPIC POEM WITH SCREENPLAY BY

Andrew Rai Berzins


PREMIERED

14 September 2005 - Toronto Int'l Film Festival


SCREENED AT THE FOLLOWING FESTIVALS

Atlantic Film Festival (Canada) - September 17, 2005
Calgary Film Festival (Canada) - October 2, 2005
Vancouver Int'l Film Festival (Canada) - October 7, 2005
Göteborgs Filmfestival (Sweden) - January 2006
Palm Springs In'l Film Festival (USA) - January 6, 2006
Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival (Holland) - April 21, 2006
Seattle International Film Festival (USA) - June 26, 2006
 

 


SYNOPSIS

Adapted from the Anglo-Saxon epic poem,  BEOWULF & GRENDEL is a medieval adventure that tells the blood-soaked tale of a Norse warrior's battle against the great and murderous troll, Grendel. Out of allegiance to the King Hrothgar, the much respected Lord of the Danes, Beowulf leads a troop of warriors across the sea to rid a village of the marauding monster. The monster, Grendel, is not a creature of mythic powers, but one of flesh and blood - immense flesh and raging blood, driven by a vengeance from being wronged, while Beowulf, a victorious soldier in his own right, has become increasingly troubled by the hero-myth rising up around his exploits. Beowulf's willingness to kill on behalf of Hrothgar wavers when it becomes clear that the King is more responsible for the troll's rampages than was first apparent. As a soldier, Beowulf is unaccustomed to hesitating. His relationship with the mesmerizing witch, Selma, creates deeper confusion.

  

PRODUCTION:

Filming began in Iceland on September 5, 2004 and continued for ten weeks. The setting included real glaciers, a fake 6th century village and a replica of a Viking ship.  Principal photography took place on the south coast of Iceland near Höfn and Vik in areas that have remained untouched since the time of the writing of Beowulf.

IMAGES

 


Read article from Montage Magazine

Read article from Playback Magazine

PRAISE FOR STELLAN:

"Skarsgård adds gravitas to the kind of role actors kill for. Hrothgar becomes a tragic figure, pitiable and coarse but profound."  ... Barry Caine, Inside Bay Area.

"Stellan is perfectly cast as the moody, downtrodden king whose world has been upturned by the consequences of an act of cruelty mitigated by an act of kindness."  ...Kim Voynar, Cinematical

"Stellan Skarsgård steals the acting honours, and Sarah Polley has never looked so sexy."  ...Mark Harris, Straight.com

"Skarsgård oozes remorse and boozy breath as the distinctly unregal king."   ...Todd McCarthy, Variety

"Stellan Skarsgard is effective as the arrogant Hrothgar, who realizes too late that his own sins cause his torment."   ...Bob Curtright, The Wichita Eagle

"Stellan Skarsgård is at his scene-stealing best as the imperiled king."  ...William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Skarsgård's performance as a leader stumbling, drunk and disappointed, in the face of an overwhelming enemy is both moving and fun."   ...Tom Keough, Seattle Times

"Thanks to its visual imagination and the committed performances of its cast -- Skarsgard provides welcome humor as the beleaguered king and Sigurdsson is as fierce a villain as one could imagine -- this full-blooded rendition of the Norse saga should prove a handy video study guide for students for years to come."   ...Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
 

Production Updates from the Director:

11.07.04:  It's a wrap!

10.12.04The stormy south coast of Iceland has been particularly dramatic this fall. We've had 160 plus kilometer an hour winds that took the roofs off local hotels and blew cars off the roads, and well as driving rain and huge seas. Overall, it's been quite difficult to work in but the resulting images are spectacular. So far, we've only stopped production for one day when the winds were gusting at 180K and there were concerns that our glorious mead hall was going to simply blow away. For the actors it's been difficult, but on a certain level very rewarding. When the elements become such a powerful character in your scene, it eliminates all preconceptions and forces them to simply be in the moment. That is, after all, the kind of characters we're dealing with in the story - people who survive and thrive in an extreme environment.

10.9.04The shoot is crazy-tough. 160K winds, horizontal rain, our base camps blown halfway across the country. But beautiful dailies, great performances from Gerrie, Stellan, Sarah, Ingvar and the whole incredibile cast, plus the unscripted and overwhelming character in every scene -- the elements.

9.14.04: "Day one we put the Viking ship, Islendingur, into the ice lagoon at Jokulslon. Throughout pre-production we always thought that if we can do this, we can do anything. The week was tough but wonderful...  The weather governs our production and has become a character in the film...  The spirit is good and there's much joy in the adversity... We just started our second week - the Beowulf and Selma portion...  The landscape is powerful and governs the tone of every scene.

9.5.04:  "We start filming tomorrow. The delays had mainly to do with the logistics of mounting the production, and we are currently waiting to see if we'll begin tomorrow with our Plan A, which is the Geats travelling through an eerie iceberg passage in a viking ship. Prepping the ship is a little behind schedule and we may have to move to Plan B tomorrow to give the ship's captain a little more time to get the ship ready. Either way, we begin filming tomorrow.