Netflix Announces Adaptation Of Historic Comic Book Series

By Tyler Pisapia | 1 month ago

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Netflix is officially moving forward with an adaptation of yet another Dark Horse comic book, Grendel. 

For those unfamiliar, Grendel is a comic book written by Matt Wagner about a masked vigilante and author who eventually finds himself at the head of New York City’s organized crime. It’s a dark, gritty noir-style series that’s perfect for the likes of Netflix. 

The streaming giant has even tapped several cast members to play key roles, namely, the title role of Grendel himself. Abubakr Ali, best known for roles in Power Book II: Ghost and Katy Keene, will play the main character, also known as Hunter Rose. Deadline notes that his involvement makes him the first male, Arab Muslim actor to lead a comic book adaptation series. Other cast members include Jaime Ray Newman (Dopesick, The Time Traveler’s Wife), Julian Black Antelope (The Flash, Debris), Madeline Zima (Californication, Hacks), Kevin Corrigan (Scenes from an Empty Church, The Get Down), Emma Ho (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, The Expanse), Erik Palladino (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Watchmen), Brittany Allen (What Keeps You Alive) and Andy Mientus (The Flash, Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings).

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Meanwhile, there’s a ton of impressive behind-the-scenes talent on board for Netflix’s Grendel adaptation as well. The series will be written and executive produced by Resident Evil and Supernatural alum Andrew Dabb. Variety reports that Dabb will write eight episodes for Netflix to produce with Mike Richards, Keith Goldberg and Chris Tongue also on hand to executive produce. 

Grendel will mark the second collaboration between Netflix and Dark Horse following a first look deal they penned years ago. The first was the massively successful and off-beat comic adaptation of Umbrella Academy. The show has already aired two seasons on Netflix and Business Insider reports that, although the company does not release viewership data, it is estimated to be one of the most-viewed original shows on a streaming platform by a wide margin. It even unseated The Witcher, another breakthrough hit for Netflix.

As a result of its popularity, Netflix was quick to get season 3 of Umbrella Academy into production as quickly as possible, announcing with a fun cast video on Twitter at the end of August that it had already wrapped filming. Clearly, the streaming giant is hoping to double down on the success of its previous collaboration with Dark Horse and may even similarly fast-track the Grendel series to get it in front of as many eyeballs as quickly as possible. In addition, Netflix is currently working on an animated adaptation of another Dark Horse property titled Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles.

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Given the immensely long wait time between Umbrella Academy seasons 1 and 2, it’s likely that Netflix is hoping to ensure fans always have some new Dark Horse content in the pipeline. While it can’t promise a fast, infinite stream of Umbrella Academy, its subscribers never have to wait too long for new content based on comics from the company. As a result, Grendel is likely going into production and its subsequent release with a lot of wind and support at its back. 

The question now is simply how long it will take Netflix and the powers behind Grendel to deliver a faithful finished product to people’s TV screens.