It’s not uncommon for a TV series to be canceled after a season or two, and it’s very common for studios to produce pilots that never make it to the air. But that’s not what happened with Grendelthe TV series version of the long-running indie comic from writer/artist Matt Wagner.
last fall, Netflix ordered an eight-episode season of Grendel starring Abubakr Ali. When they announced the show, they said it would follow Hunter Rose (Ali), “a gifted fencer, writer and assassin, as he seeks to avenge the death of a lost love, goes to war with New York’s criminal underworld, only to realize …why beat them when you can join them?” The showrunner was Andrew Dabb, and the cast also included Jaime Ray Newman, Julian Black Antelope, Madeline Zima and Kevin Corrigan
But now, just over a year after the show was first revealed, word comes that Netflix has decided not to move forward with the show. According to Deadline, this isn’t a matter of the studio not liking the scripts that were written or them rejecting a pilot; they write that “the decision was made later Grendel had filmed several episodes. Production hadn’t wrapped, so there’s currently a partial eight-episode season in the can.”
Reportedly, the show’s producers have the option of trying to find a new home for the series, which is based on a comic from Dark Horse Entertainment, the company behind Hell boy and The mask. Here was Wagner’s comment on that announcement Grendel turned into a TV series last year:
I couldn’t be more excited about the GRENDEL saga, one of the longest-running independent comics, finally being translated into live-action on screen. Under the sharp guidance of showrunner Andrew Dabb, our incredible creative team, all-star cast, and Dark Horse Entertainment have teamed up with Netflix to produce this provocative adaptation that will bring my characters and concepts to a whole new audience, yet provide thrills 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 envisioned in the role for years.
Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter tweeted that it’s “not clear whether it’s a quality issue, a budget issue, or a ‘too nice’ issue” behind Netflix’s decision. Either way, unless another streaming service or network is interesting, you won’t get to see the performance that got Wagner so excited.
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