Jolie and Winstone to star in Beowulf

Angelina Jolie will star in "Beowulf," a big-budget film based on the old story of a Scandinavian hero who slays a beast.

Robert Zemeckis will direct the film, which also stars Ray Winstone and Crispin Glover. As with Zemeckis' last release, "The Polar Express," "Beowulf" will use "performance-capture" technology, which transforms the actors into computer-animated versions of themselves.

The Old English epic poem, which is thought to have been written in the eighth century, chronicles the exploits of Beowulf, who saves the Danes from Grendel the monster.

Winstone ("Sexy Beast") will play the title character and will be joined by Glover as Grendel and Jolie as Grendel's mother. The maternal role is becoming a habit for Jolie: she played Colin Farrell's mother in "Alexander,” reports Reuters.

According to Guardians, Ray Winstone, the British actor, is to play the hero Beowulf, who kills the man-eating monster Grendel and his equally nasty mother ("the swamp thing from hell, the tarn-hag in all her terrible strength", in Seamus Heaney's translation). He becomes a wise and prosperous king, ruling for 50 years, before being slain by a dragon.

Winstone is to start shooting in late September. The film uses stop-motion technology, meaning the cast will act in the studio in front of screens before special effects are added.

Also starring are Anthony Hopkins and Brendan Gleeson. The film is likely to be in the ever more popular vein of epic fantasy-inflected films such as The Lord of the Rings.

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