The Netflix Geeked Twitter account just revealed that an 8-episode TV miniseries is coming to the streaming service, based on the long-running, creator-owned comic from Matt Wagner and published by Dark Horse Comics, who have an overall deal with Netflix. Originally debuting in 1982’s Comico Primer, the character appeared in a series of comics between 1983 and 1992, with occasional returns to the world of Grendel since, including a crossover with Batman, spinoffs by other comics creators at Dark Horse, and a novel by Greg Rucka. The original hero, Hunter Rose, is most likely to be the lead in the Netflix series, although other characters in the world have taken lead in the years since Rose’s original story.
Deadline reports that Abubakr Ali (Katy Keene) is set to star in the title role. Grendel will be written and directed by Supernatural‘s Andrew Dabb.
Grendel was the masked identity of Hunter Rose, a successful author who moonlighted as an assassin, and intended to mete out vengeance to New York’s criminal underworld, before eventually realizing that with his skills and resources, he could simply take it over instead. Later stories featured the adventures of Christine Spar, Hunter’s posthumous biographer, assuming the identity of Grendel to pursue a mission of revenge, and later those of her boyfriend Brian Li Sung, who didn’t last long in the role, and whose story didn’t end well.
The Deadline report also lists Jaime Ray Newman (The Time Traveler’s Wife) as Jocasta Rose, Julian Black Antelope (The Flash) as Argent, Madeline Zima (Californication) as Liz Sparks, Kevin Corrigan (The Get Down) as Barry Palumbo, Emma Ho (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds) as Stacy Palumbo, Erik Palladino (Watchmen) as Teddy Ciccone, Brittany Allen (What Keeps You Alive) as Annabelle Wright, and Andy Mientus (The Flash) as Larry Stohler. They also shared a series of character descriptions, which you can read below.
Later, Wagner and other creators would tell a number of stories with the Grendel identity affecting a variety of people. The name Grendel took on several meanings, as the stories portrayed a dystopian future, and eventually became a synonym for The Devil, with the title held by the emperor of the world (Grendel-Khan) and members of a samurai-like society of warriors. For years, Wagner returned to the stories of Hunter Rose on the rare occasion he came back to Grendel at all. In 2019, though, he released Devil’s Odyssey, returning to the dystopian future of Grendel-Prime.