Netflix cancels comic book series Grendel midway through filming

(Image credit: Matt Wagner)

Netflix has decided not to move forward with Grendel, a new TV show based on Matt Wagner's award-winning graphic novels – despite having filmed the bulk of its eight-part first season. The project was originally developed as part of the streamer's first look deal with Dark Horse Entertainment.

Written and executive produced by Supernatural's Andrew Dabb, who recently collaborated with Netflix on Resident Evil, Grendel centers on Hunter Rose, a skilled fencer, author, and assassin who sets out to avenge the death of his lost love. But once he comes face to face with some of New York's most menacing criminals, he realizes it might be more worthwhile to join them instead...

Abubakr Ali stars as the titular character, marking him as the first Arab Muslim male actor to portray a series lead in a comic book adaptation. Jaime Ray Newman, Julian Black Antelope, Madeline Zima, Kevin Corrigan, Emma Ho, Erik Palladino, Brittany Allen, and Andy Mientus round out the supporting cast. 

"We all know this business can be a heartbreaker, but I thought after more than a decade navigating it, I'd seen all the ways it can break your heart," Mientus posted on Instagram when the news first broke. "Grendel was a 'Yes' when I needed one badly; my first job post-pandemic, in a true dream role that pushed me as an actor to places I'd never gone before. I realized as I was doing it how hungry I'd been for such a push."

"Hundreds of talented, tireless, wonderful people shot not just a pilot, not just a few episodes, but an entire season that now might go unseen," he added. "I'm used to shows closing or getting canceled, but only after they at least get to meet the world, their fate decided (mostly) by their audience. What's happened here is a new one for me, and a shock, and I won't pretend it doesn't really sting."

Netflix is still nurturing its relationship with Dark Horse through other productions, such as The Umbrella Academy, Jonas Åkerlund’s Polar, and the animated series Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles. According to Deadline, Grendel producers are hoping they'll be able to find a home for the almost-completed series elsewhere later down the line.

Over the last few months, Netflix has earned a reputation for pulling the plug on several of its titles. To keep up to date with what's been axed in 2022, check out our list of all of the Netflix canceled shows.

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.