OMG! Beowulf Spoilerz!!

Is this why the Atlanta Journal and Constitution is not considered a serious newspaper? Witness:

Historically, the hero often outlives the tale. Odysseus survived “The Odyssey.” Beowulf lived into old age.

SPOILER WARNING: Beowulf is killed by the dragon at the end of Beowulf.

Yes, that quote is from an article titled “What if Harry Died?” No, I’m not obsessed with the boy wizard like I was with Dan Brown. I may, however, become obsessed with the Beowulf movie that’s coming out in November, especially if they give it the tagline “Grendel’s mother as you’ve never seen her before!” Here’s an exclusive first look at the character, via Film Focus.


In a recent interview, the movie’s writer, Neil Gaiman, had this to say about the movie’s faithfulness to the source material: “It’s very faithful to the source material although the source material didn’t have Angelina Jolie as Grendel’s mother.” SPOILER WARNING: The source material had a twisted trolldam as Grendel’s mother.

I blogged about this back when it was first announced, and I’m glad to see that motion-capture technology has allowed Gaiman to utilize Angelina’s impressive assets even though it’s an animated film. I also eagerly await the gratuitous cheesecake version of Wealhtheow.

To be fair to Mr. Gaiman, I realize that it’s very hard to get a movie made in Hollywood without prostituting your artistic vision. Presumably all movies that are greenlit these days must have an answer for the executive who says “Yes, this is all well and good, but I’m not seeing a part for Angelina Jolie here.” Gaiman probably spent all his clout fighting off the executive who demanded they make Wiglaf into “a hip, sarcastic sidekick for Beowulf, sort of Donkey from Shrek mixed with that dragon from Mulan.” SPOILER WARNING: In the Anglo-Saxon poem, Wiglaf is not a sassy talking animal voiced by Eddie Murphy.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Carolingian

    I remain horrified but strangely interested in this movie. If anything, Angelina might get more people into Old English lit classes, albeit for all the wrong reasons. Let’s just hope they dont take the Scandinavian film route and include seductive witches…

  • Brendan

    1. The AJC is laughable.

    2. Is casting Angelina Jolie as Grendel’s mother a strange commentary on her asian adoption habits?

    3. If Beowulf succeeds, do you suppose they’d make a sequel out of John Gardner’s Grendel?

  • Anne

    I just checked your site for the first time in several months and was thrilled beyond belief that you are once again posting. As for Beowulf, I think I’ll go to the movie, tattered Old English version in hand, to play my favorite movie game: “count the historical and/or textual inaccuracies.” Then I’ll see Angelina Jolie on the screen and forget all about it.

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