Most of the time when Grendel is talking in the movie, he is speaking Old English, the language in which the original poem was written, which in sound resembles modern Swedish. Interestingly, he never speaks in the original poem. He only sings a song of sorrow (which most people take to be a wail) when Beowulf rips off his arm.
According to Ray Winstone, he and his fellow cast spent several days filming in blue skintight suit, "showing up all your lumps and bumps in all the wrong places. Which can be hard when you're standing in front of Angelina Jolie, who looks stunning in hers."
The name "Beowulf" is a kenning of the Anglo-Saxon words for "Bear". A kenning is a phrase that is substituted for the usual name of a person or thing. It is typically comprised of two terms, with the first word added to the second in a way that conveys a meaning neither word has alone. Therefore, "Beowulf" comes from "Bee-Wolf", meaning "Bear".
Paramount Pictures hired Knott's Berry Farm in Orange County, California, to produce a walk-through maze based on this movie for its 35th Annual Halloween Haunt, held every October at the theme park. Sony Pictures The Grudge 2 (2006) was the only previous maze produced at the Haunt by a major movie studio.
Roger Avary and Neil Gaiman's original plan was for Avary to direct on a modest budget. He had story-boarded several scenes and had a few European shooting locations scouted. His intended style would have been heavily influenced by Roman Polanski's Macbeth (1971) and Terry Gilliam's Jabberwocky (1977). However, studios were unable to see the potential with his intended vision, so he ended up selling the project to Robert Zemeckis.
Screenwriters Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary met, after Avary became the writer for a proposed film adaptation of Gaiman's acclaimed Sandman graphic novel. Gaiman loved his script, but the studio found it "too weird" and had Avary replaced with Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. Finding their sensibilities very compatible, the pair went on a vacation to Baja, Mexico where they sequestered themselves in their hotel room and didn't leave until they had something. That something ended up being Beowulf's first draft.
Keeping in mind that the etymology of the name Beowulf originates in the Old English "beo-wulf" (translated as bee-wolf referring to a bear), notice that the embossed crest on Beowulf's leather chest plate armor is a stylized bear.