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Category: Beowulf & Grendel News
Article Date: March 10, 2006 | Publication: | Author: press release

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Equinoxe Films is pleased to announce that Sturla Gunnarsson’s eagerly anticipated BEOWULF & GRENDEL will open in theatres across Canada on March 10th. Set against the dramatic background of a wind-whipped, ocean-battered Icelandic landscape, the film tells the bloody tale of the warrior Beowulf's battle with Grendel, a great and murderous troll.

The seminal Anglo Saxon poem has been thoroughly updated by screenwriter Andrew Rai Berzins, using contemporary English, inflected with a wry sense of humour. BEOWULF & GRENDEL nonetheless retains the full heraldic glory and mythical epic qualities that have inspired so many readers.

In this telling, the battle scarred Norse hero Beowulf (Gerard Butler) leads a troop of warriors across the sea to help his old friend, King Hrothgar (Stellan Skarsgärd), whose kingdom is being ravaged by the marauding troll, Grendel (Ingvar Sigurdsson).

However, Beowulf's attempts to fight the troll are thwarted when Grendel refuses to engage him in battle. Despite his seemingly savage nature, the troll is adhering to a strict code of retribution: his quarrel is not with Beowulf but with the Danes. When Beowulf meets Selma (Sarah Polley), a mysterious and sensual witch, his understanding of revenge is further complicated and he begins to waver in his commitment to kill on behalf of King Hrothgar.

Paired with the inimitable Skarsgård as the ailing and deceitful king, Butler powerfully portrays the conflicted Beowulf as he endures the slow erosion of his military code of conduct. More than a straightforward story of blood, beer and sweat, BEOWULF & GRENDEL powerfully entwines themes of vengeance, loyalty and mercy. The film strips away the mask of the hero myth, leaving a raw and tangled tale that rings true today.

Icelandic born, Canadian raised director Sturla Gunnarsson’s films have received international acclaim and won Genie, Gemini and Emmy Awards, and an Oscar nomination. Feature films include the comedy, Rare Birds, starring William Hurt, and the adaptation of Rohinton Mistry’s Such A Long Journey, starring Roshan Seth and Om Puri. His documentaries include the cinema verité classic, Final Offer and the apartheid love story, Gerrie & Louise.

Scottish born actor Gerard Butler recently starred as the title character in Phantom of the Opera and as the enigmatic stranger in Dear Frankie. His numerous credits include Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, starring opposite Angelina Jolie, Michael Crichton’s Timeline and Wes Craven’s Dracula 2000. He recently completed filming 300, based on Frank Miller's graphic novel, in which Butler stars as King Leonidas who led the Spartan army against the advancing Persians in the Battle of Thermopylae.

Swedish film star Stellan Skarsgärd has appeared in innumerable films directed by masters of world cinema including Lars Von Trier, Roman Polanski, Phillip Kaufman, Gus Van Sant and Steven Spielberg.

Sarah Polley is one of Canada’s most renowned and beloved actresses.

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