PRESS RELEASE

May 10, 2024

Jeff Bridges, Dave Bautista, Bryan Cranston, Sam Elliott, Thomasin McKenzie, Aiden Turner and T Bone Burnett Star in Iconic Monster Tale “Grendel” from The Jim Henson Company with Robert D. Krzykowski Directing

Palisades Park Pictures Launching Sales Ahead of Cannes

Los Angeles, (May 10, 2024) – Leading global entertainment company Palisades Park Pictures is launching international sales ahead of Cannes on Grendel, the live-action monster tale from The Jim Henson Company, it was announced today by Tamara Birkemoe, CEO.  Grendel is the tale of the legendary monster at the heart of the Beowulf epic poem who steps forth to tell his side of this riveting story.

The film has rounded out a stellar cast with Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart, The Big Lebowski) in the titular role, Dave Bautista as Beowulf (Dune: Part Two, Guardians of the Galaxy series), Academy Award nominee, Golden Globe and six-time Emmy Award winner Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad,” Trumbo) as King Hrothgar, Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Sam Elliott (A Star is Born, Tombstone) as The Dragon, Thomasin McKenzie (Last Night in Soho, Eileen) as Queen Wealhtheow, and Aidan Turner (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) as Unferth. Academy Award, Golden Globe and Grammy Award-winning composer, producer and songwriter, T Bone Burnett (composer, O Brother, Where Art Thou, Walk The Line) will also star as The Shaper and provide original songs for the film. Robert D. Krzykowski (“The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot”) will direct from a screenplay he adapted from John Gardner’s critically acclaimed novel of the same name. The film is being cast by Engine Casting. Shooting will begin later this year in Europe.

Grendel is produced by Brian Henson (The Muppet Christmas Carol, Farscape) and Vince Raisa (The Happytime Murders, Disney+’s “Earth to Ned”) for the Jim Henson Company (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Pinocchio, The Portable Door), Robert D. Krzykowski and Jay Glazer (Body Language, Get Luke Lowe), who together acquired the rights to the novel in 2020, Dennis Berardi (Monster Hunter, Frankenstein), and Jon D. Wagner (Bone Tomahawk, Haunt).

Executive producers are Jeff Bridges, John Sayles (Lone Star, Eight Men Out), Tamara Birkemoe, and Joe Jenckes of Ashland Hill Media Finance. Palisades Park Pictures are launching worldwide sales at the upcoming Marché du Film, with CAA and UTA Independent Film Group co-repping rights for North America. Ashland Hill Media Finance is financing.

The acclaimed Jim Henson’s Creature Shop (Five Nights at Freddy’s, Where the Wild Things Are, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance) will handle the practical creature work and design.

 Grendel represents everything I love about the movies. John Gardner’s mad masterpiece cleverly tackles what it is to be human through the wild-eyed lens of a monster,” said Krzykowski. “It’s an honor to work with such a remarkable group of storytellers, all of whom seek to bring something wonderful and unexpected to audiences now.”

“We are delighted to be introducing this elevated, high-concept story to our distributors around the world,” added Tamara Birkemoe, CEO Palisades Park Pictures. “With this brilliant cast, Bob’s vivid vision and the extraordinary creative track record of our friends at The Jim Henson Company, we cannot wait to see Grendel come to life.”

Brian Henson, producer and Chair of the Board of The Jim Henson Company says, “The Jim Henson Company is internationally known for our world creation and character creation. And we are most inspired when a character has a richly authentic personality, and can be sophisticated, thought-provoking, and believable. Grendel is the ultimate character, and will be brought to life using our Creature Shop’s cutting-edge practical techniques in combination with Dennis Berardi’s amazing digital effects.”

The Jim Henson Company was established in 1958 by pioneering puppeteers Jim and Jane Henson. The company remains one of the most influential entertainment production companies, producing popular films and TV series including The Muppets franchise, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day for Walt Disney Pictures, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, “The Muppet Show,” “Fraggle Rock,”  the Emmy Award-winning Netflix Original series, “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance,” and “Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock” for Apple TV+, and Disney+’s “Earth to Ned.”

In a career spanning seven decades, Jeff Bridges is known for his leading man roles in film and television. 

He received the Academy Award and the Golden Globe for the 2009 drama, Crazy Heart, and the Golden Globe’s Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2019 for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment. His iconic character “The Dude” in the Coen Brother’s crime comedy The Big Lebowski, earned him a place in cult classic history. Additional credits include John Carpenter’s sci-fi romancer Starman opposite Karen Allen, the Coen Brothers’ western drama remake True Grit, alongside Matt Damon and Josh Brolin, The Fabulous Baker Boys, co-starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Beau Bridges, and TRON, where Bridges is set to return for Tron: Ares, his third film in the long-running sci-fi franchise from Disney.

Dave Bautista is most widely known for his recurring role as Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe beginning with 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Since then, he has starred in box office smashes including Spectre, Blade Runner 2049, Dune, Netflix’s Glass Onion, and Army of the Dead. Films in which he has appeared have grossed upwards of $10 billion at the global box office. Bautista can be seen in Dune: Part Two, and in the upcoming Amazon feature My Spy: The Eternal City,  which he also produces through his Dogbone banner.

Bryan Cranston is best known for his intense portrayal of chemistry teacher turned drug king pin Walter White in AMC’s megahit TV series “Breaking Bad,” where he received a total of six Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe, and as the awkward but endearing father, Hal, in Fox’s smash comedy series, “Malcolm in the Middle.”  His performance as blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo in the biopic Trumbo earned him his first Academy Award nomination. Other notable credits include Showtime’s “Your Honor,” Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City, co-starring Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson and Margot Robbie, Searchlight Pictures’ Little Miss Sunshine, alongside Toni Collette and Steve Carell, and Ben Affleck’s Academy Award-winning film Argo. On stage, Cranston earned a Tony Award for his portrayal of President Lyndon B. Johnson in “All the Way,” and his second Tony Award for “Network,” on the West End and Broadway.

Sam Elliott is known for playing gun-slinging cowboys in films like Sam Raimi’s The Quick and the Dead and Tombstone, co-starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, as well as his role in the cult favorite, The Big Lebowski, opposite Jeff Bridges and John Goodman. Elliott earned an Academy Award nomination for his supporting role in Bradley Cooper’s musical romantic drama, A Star Is Born, and most recently he can be seen in Paramount+’s “1883,” the prequel to the American western hit TV series “Yellowstone,” starring Kevin Costner and Luke Grimes. Additional credits include Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air, alongside George Clooney and Anna Kendrick, The Contender, directed by Rod Lurie, and co-starring Gary Oldman, Joan Allen and Jeff Bridges, and The Hero, alongside Laura Prepon, Nick Offerman and Katharine Ross.

Elliott is also a two-time Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee.

Thomasin McKenzie drew international acclaim in Debra Granik’s adventure drama Leave No Trace, opposite Ben Foster. A string of projects followed, including Justin Kelly’s The True History of The Kelly Gang, David Michôd’s The King, portraying the influential Philippa of England, and Graysorn’s Thavat’s The Justice of Bunny King. Her first professional screen role was in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit in 2013, followed by the prescient lead in Consent: The Louise Nicholson Story. She memorably played Elsa Korr in Taika Waititi’s Oscar winner Jojo Rabbit, and Lola in Jane Campion’s, Power of The Dog.

Aidan Turner is known for his portrayal as the half-elf Kili in Peter Jackson’s fantasy adventure trilogy, The Hobbit. He began his career in the BBC series “Desperate Romantics” and later gained attention for starring in the BAFTA nominated series, “Being Human.” Turner also starred as the eponymous characters in the BBC adaptation of Winston Graham’s “Poldark”. Other notable recent TV credits include Leonardo da Vinci in Sony’s “Leonardo” for Amazon, “The Suspect” for ITV and “Fifteen-Love” also for Amazon. Aidan’s film credits include The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones starring Lily Collins and Jaime Campbell Bower, Jim Sheridan’s The Secret Scripture, Love is Blind with Chloe Sevigny and Matthew Broderick, and The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot, alongside Sam Elliott. Next year Aidan will be seen as Declan O’Hara in the highly anticipated Disney series, “Rivals,” and in the key role of Andrew in Terrence Malick’s new film, The Last Planet.

Academy Award, Golden Globe and Grammy Award-winning T Bone Burnett is one of the entertainment industry’s most prolific and successful producers, composers and songwriters.  Burnett is best known for his work in films including the Coen Brothers’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and O Brother, Where Art Thou, Lionsgate’s blockbuster The Hunger Games, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Twentieth Century Fox’s Walk the Line, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, and Crazy Heart, which he produced and took home the Oscar for Best Original Song. Burnett also produced the documentary, Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind, and Gunpowder & Sky’s TV series, “Drawn & Recorded.”

Jeff Bridges is repped by CAA, MGMT Entertainment, Special Artists Agency and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof & Fishman;  Dave Bautista is repped by CAA, Meisner Entertainment Group, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner Auerbach Hynick Jaime LeVine Sample & Klein; Bryan Cranston is repped by UTA and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole; Sam Elliott is repped The Gersh Agency and Berwick & Kovacik; Thomasin McKenzie is repped by UTA, Untitled Entertainment and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole;  Aidan Turner is repped by Curtis Brown Group and Lisa Richards, and Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson McGinnis & Ryan;  T Bone Burnett is repped by Larry Jenkins of LJ Entertainment.

Robert D. Krzykowski is represented by Jay Glazer at Neon Kite, Verve, and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher.

Other feature titles on the Palisades Park Pictures Cannes sales slate include The Magic Faraway Tree starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy and written by Simon Farnaby (Wonka, Paddington 2), That’s Amore! starring John Travolta, Katherine Heigl and Christopher Walken, written and to be directed by two-time Academy Award winner Nick Vallelonga; Philip Noyce’s action-adventure Fast Charlie starring Pierce Brosnan, Morena Baccarin and James Caan; and Emmy Award nominee Neil Marshall’s (“Game of Thrones,” Hellboy) action-thriller Duchess, starring Charlotte Kirk, Philip Winchester, Sean Pertwee, Colm Meaney and Stephanie Beacham.

 

About Palisades Park Pictures

Founded in 2023, Palisades Park Pictures is an independent entertainment company, focused on the global distribution, production, and financing of high-level, quality commercial content for a worldwide audience. Led by CEO Tamara Birkemoe and backed by Ashland Hill Media Finance, Palisades Park Pictures is establishing itself as a home for ambitious, exciting storytelling with a global appeal.

 

About The Jim Henson Company

The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 65 years and is recognized as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics, and digital animation. The Company’s most recent credits include the acclaimed Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio for Netflix, the Emmy®-winning Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock for Apple TV+, and the feature film The Portable Door for MGM+Other television credits include Slumberkins, Harriet the Spy and Fraggle Rock: Rock On!, all for Apple TV+, Word Party for Netflix, Earth to Ned for Disney+, and the Emmy-winning Netflix Original series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Other TV productions include Dinosaur Train (PBS), Splash and Bubbles (PBS), Sid the Science Kid (PBS), and Julie’s Greenroom (Netflix), as well as Fraggle RockThe Storyteller, and the sci-fi series Farscape. Feature film credits include The Star (Sony Pictures Animation), Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Disney), and the groundbreaking fantasy classics The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth

With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot, complete with soundstage and post-production facilities. The Company is home to Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™, a pre-eminent character-building and visual effects group with international film, television, theme park and advertising clients, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry’s top recording facilities known for its world-class blend of state-of-the-art and vintage equipment. The Company’s Henson Alternative credits include The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell (Netflix), the feature film The Happytime Murders, and the popular live puppet improvisational show Puppet-Up! – Uncensored.

 

 

For more information, please contact:

Maxine Leonard PR
Maggi Simpson maggi@maxineleonard.com
Tel: 323-930-2345