Abubakr Ali is the first Arabic Muslim to Play the Lead in a Comic Book Television Series.
Ali will be starring as the titular hero in Netflix’s ‘Grendel’, a New York city vigilante who fights crime to avenge the death of his lover.
Streaming service Netflix have confirmed that Abubakr Ali will make history as the first Arab Muslim male to portray the lead in a comic book series adaptation. Ali is set to play Hunter Rose/Grendel, from the Dark Horse comic-book series created by Matt Wagner.
Speaking with CNN, Ali expressed pride in his casting in the role. "I'm so excited about this opportunity. There is so much possibilities with this. There are so many emotional, physical and psychological extremes that are going into the show, and it requires all of me in a really beautiful way.”
Ali is a graduate of Yale University’s drama program and made his name in projects like Katy Keene as Raj Patel, Power Book II: Ghost as Sebastian “Bash” Kamal Stern, as well as an undisclosed role in Pose star Billy Porter’s directorial debut What If? Ali says he’s “grateful and honoured” by the support he’s received he’s received from people in the Muslim and Arabic communities and is committed to using his platform to uplift their voices and the voices of the LGBTQ community.
The series will feature eight episodes by writer and showrunner Andrew Dabb, the writer behind shows like the Supernatural and the upcoming Resident Evil series, also an adaptation. The adaptation is the third release to be co-produced by Dark Horse Entertainment and Netflix, following The Umbrella Academy based on the comics by Gerard Way, and Polar starring Mads Mikkelsen, based on Victor Santo’s noir graphic novel of the same name.
On the adaptation, creator Matt Wagner said in a press release; “I couldn’t be more thrilled about the GRENDEL saga, one of the longest-running independent comics series, finally being translated into live-action for the screen. Under the sharp guidance of showrunner Andrew Dabb, our incredible creative team, sure-to-be stellar cast and Dark Horse Entertainment have teamed with Netflix to produce this provocative adaptation that will bring my characters and concepts to an all new audience and yet still provide excitement and surprises for die-hard fans. I'm especially excited to see Abubakr Ali bring the character of Grendel/Hunter Rose to life -- he has the charisma, style and vital edginess that I've been envisioning in the role for years.”
Also joining the cast are Jaime Ray Newman, Julian Black Antelope, Madeline Zima, Emma Ho, Erik Palladino, Brittany Allan and Andy Mientius.
Netflix have yet to announce a release date for the series. Stay tuned for updates.