Grendel Star Abubakr Ali Addresses the Series’ Fate
Earlier this week, Netflix made the surprising decision to cancel its long-in-the-works series based Matt Wagner’s Grendel comics. The show had already filmed most of its first season, which made the announcement even more of a shock. However, the news was dispiriting for a host of other reasons as well, not the least of which is what nabbing the starring role meant to Abubakr Ali, who was set to headline the series as Hunter Rose/Grendel. Ali’s casting made him the first Arab Muslim male actor to play the lead in a comic book adaptation. But with the show’s future currently in doubt, Ali finally broke his silence on Instagram today.
Ali didn’t waste any time in acknowledging what this meant for onscreen Muslim representation. In an earlier post, he noted that Muslims continue to struggle with negative stereotypes in a post-9/11 world. But landing his own superhero series marked a big step forward for the diversity movement. Unfortunately, having this opportunity (seemingly) taken away serves as a grim reminder that Muslims make up a very small percentage of actors who appear on TV. You can read his full statement below.
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The Instagram slideshow also includes several other behind-the-scenes Grendel goodies. One photo shows Ali posing with the show’s hair and makeup teams, with his torso scribbled over to avoid giving us a peek at his character’s costume. Another image finds him standing alongside his co-star, Emma Ho. Additionally, Ali posted a screencap of a tweet from Riz Ahmed, who congratulated him on landing the series. He even shared a clip from what looks like his very first screen test for the role.
Ali isn’t the only Grendel actor who addressed the series’ fate after Netflix handed down its decision. Yesterday, Andy Mientus confessed his own disappointment, revealing that Grendel was the first job he was able to book once the industry resumed operations during the pandemic. In the meantime, the producers now have the option to shop the series to other networks and streaming platforms. But as far as we know, they haven’t started pitching to anyone yet.
What do you think of Ali’s response to Grendel’s cancellation? Let us know in the comment section below!
Photo Credits: Corey Nickols/Getty Images for IMDb/Dark Horse Comics
Recommended Reading: Grendel Omnibus Volume 1: Hunter Rose
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