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ITV is banking on big success for Beowulf with cast signed to 5-year contracts

gallery-1451232176-beowulf-return-to-the-shiledlands-75-1ITV's Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands © ITV

ITV's ​Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands ​is being eyed as a long-running series - with cast-members signed up for five series.​

​Da Vinci's Demons ​actor Kieran Bew plays the title role in the epic fantasy series, with ​Downton Abbey​'s Ed Speleers cast as his rival Slean.

Speleers told press including ​Digital Spy ​that he's excited to embark upon what could be a long-term project.

"There was a time I didn't work for months so the fact that someone wants to offer me a five-year contract... a lot of people would look at this as being tied down but I take it as a compliment," he said.

"They want me to be a part of this thing and that's a positive. It's a massive role and I have never before had a chance to play a part like this ever - and there's always time to do a few things on the side."

Based on the classic poem, and also starring William Hurt and Joanne Whalley, ​Beowulf ​has been described by co-creator Katie Newman as "one of ITV's biggest ever shows, and incredibly ambitious".

​"I hope this goes on for years and years - and that this is just the beginning," said Speleers.

Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands begins tomorrow night (Sunday, January 3) at 7pm on ITV.


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