“Grendel” Axed from Netflix’s Release Slate

“Grendel” Axed from Netflix’s Release Slate

“Grendel,” set to be the first American superhero show starring an Arab Muslim, will not be going forward at Netflix after the streaming company decided to cancel the show. News of its cancellation was reported on Sept. 27 after eight episodes of the show had already been filmed. Cast and crew responded with shock and sadness.

The show’s star, Abubakr Ali, who recently starred in “Anything’s Possible,” a high school romantic comedy, wrote in an Instagram post addressing the cancellation of the show, “I was really excited for what this role meant for my community. I never thought this business would allow someone like me to play a role like this, where an Arab person could exist in the gray area between good and evil.” Ali, an Egyptian American Muslim, would have been the first Arab Muslim to lead a comic book adaptation.

Ali plays millionaire Hunter Rose, who dons the mantle of the criminal mastermind Grendel in his nightly outings as a superhero. The show is based on a comic series originally published by Comico in 1982, and then by Dark Horse comics when Comico went bankrupt. The character has grown in popularity, and its live-action adaptation by Netflix was announced in September 2021. Dark Horse also has collaborated with Netflix on “Umbrella Academy” which was recently renewed for its fourth and final season.

Ali also cited a statistic from a USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative report in his Instagram post, pointing out that Muslims make up almost a quarter of the world’s population, but only 1% of speaking roles in television. The report pointed out the dearth of Muslim characters with nuanced roles on television in the top 200 series from 2018 and 2019. Netflix has received criticism for their cancellation of series that feature diverse casts, especially LGBTQ+ lead characters.

While “Grendel” has been canceled at Netflix, its producers are looking to stream elsewhere and finish production of the season.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Fann.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.