January 21, 2005
I Need More Beowulf!

A while back I posted about an upcoming Beowulf movie. Now a more mainstream Hollywood version is coming along, this time with a script by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary and a $70 million budget. I have to say, Neil Gaiman is about the perfect person for the job; I'm sure he'll have something to say about this later on his website.

Update: He does indeed:

In 1998 Roger Avary asked me to cowrite a script for Beowulf for him to direct. We went off to Mexico together and wrote it as a sort of Dark Ages Trainspotting, filled with mead and blood and madness, and we went all the way from the beginning of the poem, with Beowulf as a hero battling Grendel, to the end, with Beowulf as an old man fighting a dragon.


Meanwhile Bob Zemeckis couldn't get our Beowulf movie out of his head. After the motion capture experience of Polar Express, he wanted to take the techniques on a bit, and make a film intended for adults with them. He and Steve Bing approached us about the script....

And, after a certain amount of to-ing and fro-ing over the last month, Bob Zemeckis will be making a film of Beowulf, from our script. Roger and I are signed on to do any rewrites necessary (I suspect that some things that were easy to write for live action would be impossible or extremely costly to do as motion capture. But then, things that would have been impossible to do as live action may be easy as motion capture, so overall it should work out.)

(No, it won't look or feel anything like Polar Express. When Bob Zemeckis told us the art style he had in mind our reaction was "Well, of course.")

Posted by Bill Stilwell at January 21, 2005 09:00 AM
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