Apparently, Netflix is joining HBO in making perplexing decisions about content. The streaming giant recently passed on an 8 episode adaptation of Matt Wagner’s Dark Horse comic “Grendel.” Now a platform pulling content is nothing new but this show, much like the recently pulled “Batgirl,” is already close to wrapping.
The “Grendel” series is set to star Abubakr Ali as the lead character Hunter Rose (Ali would be the first Arab Muslim male actor to portray a series lead in a comic book adaptation). The story follows Rose who is a gifted fencer, writer, and assassin who seeks to avenge his lost love. In the process, he goes to war with New York’s criminal underworld only to end up joining them.
Other cast members include Jaime Ray Newman, Julian Black Antelope, Madeline Zima, Kevin Corrigan, Emma Ho, Erik Palladino, Brittany Allen, and Andy Mientus. The “Grendel” series is written and executive produced by Andrew Dabb (“Resident Evil,” “Supernatural”). With Rachel Goldberg (“Mayans M.C.”) directing the first 2 episodes. Comic creator Matt Wagner was also set to executive produce alongside Dark Horse’s Mike Richardson, Keith Goldberg, and Chris Tongue. So it’s not like there weren’t names attached to this project.
Wagner even said “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,” the creator wrote. “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.”
So the usual suspects of ‘not enough name recognition and ‘the creator was unhappy and pulled the plug’ seem to be ruled out as possible causes here. Considering the whole series came to Netflix as a first-look deal with Dark Horse Entertainment it’s confusing as to why the “Grendel” was pulled *after* it had completed the bulk of filming. But the bright side here is Netflix isn’t the end of the line for this series. The creators are still free to shop it elsewhere.
Nerdbot will keep you posted on developments to “Grendel” as they become available.