Film Alters Beowulf Subtext
Category: Beowulf & Grendel News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: December 6, 2004 | Publication: SciFiWire.Com | Author: editors
Gerard Butler, star of the upcoming medieval adventure movie Beowulf & Grendel, told SCI FI Wire that the film puts an intriguing spin on the epic poem that is its source. "[Beowulf] turns up as the hero to take on this troll [Ingvar Eggert Sigurdsson as Grendel], only to find out that his hero's quest isn't exactly what he expected," Butler said in an interview while promoting his current project, The Phantom of the Opera. "Especially in older tales, it's just good versus evil."
In the original Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, the central character is a Norse hero who vanquishes the evil Grendel and saves his village. But in the film, Butler said, "Beowulf arrives to find that this troll everybody considers pure evil isn't necessarily pure evil. It's just the case that it's black and white. And even Beowulf as a hero, he's not a typical hero. He sees things a little more deeply and doesn't necessarily enjoy what he does. He's just very good at it. So he comes across this thing that everyone perceives as a monster, only to find out that this monster doesn't want to fight them, because they've never done anything to him. At the same time, we're on this inevitable path to conquest just because they're different."
Butler described Beowulf & Grendel as a metaphor for racism and the different ways in which cultures interact. "People's ignorance about other human beings can lead to violence," Butler said. "It's just a sad lack of understanding that causes all the problems. I think the story is so beautiful and powerful and human, and yet gritty and real. And the dialogue is so incredibly poetic, but tough." Beowulf & Grendel will be released in 2005.