Who could have foreseen that one of the hottest current properties in theater, opera and movies would turn out to be an ancient poem in Old English? Long a staple on English 101 syllabi, Beowulf
, composed sometime between the seventh and 10th centuries by an unknown Anglo-Saxon poet, underwent an exciting extreme makeover in 2000 at the hands of poet Seamus Heaney; his brilliant translation not only put it on the New York Times
best-seller list, but restored this hugely entertaining adventure about a warrior's epic battles against a rampaging monster to its original, grisly glory. It also revealed the stuff of movie blockbusters. First out of the gate: ...