Amazon has signed a deal with Games Workshop to gain the intellectual property rights that will allow the tech and media giant to make films, TV series, and other content based on the popular Warhammer 40K franchise.
Warhammer 40K has been one of the most popular properties among gamers and others for almost 40 years. It started as a tabletop game but has also spawned numerous popular video games and books over the years.
This news might be interesting enough on its own, but fans of the franchise might also be interested to know that Henry Cavill—the actor who played Geralt in Netflix’s The Witcher series and Superman in the Zack Snyder DC superhero films, among other things—is attached to the project as an actor and executive producer.
Cavill posted a brief teaser to Instagram to announce his involvement:
For 30 years I have dreamt of seeing a Warhammer universe in live action. Now, after 22 years of experience in this industry, I finally feel that I have the skill set and experience to guide a Warhammer Cinematic Universe into life. Partnering with Natalie Viscuso at Vertigo has been a blessing beyond words, without her we might not have found the perfect home at Amazon. And having a home like Amazon will give us the freedom to be true to the massive scope of Warhammer. To all of you Warhammer fans out there, I promise to respect this IP that we love. I promise to bring you something familiar. And I endeavour to bring you something fantastic that is, as of yet, unseen.
Our first steps are to find our Filmmaker/Creator/Writer. Watch this space, my friends.
For The Emperor!
There have been plenty of lackluster adaptations of geeky intellectual properties of late, arguably including Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of Time. But Cavill’s involvement could help alleviate fans’ concerns, given that Cavill is a dedicated Warhammer 40K geek who has often talked about painting figures and other Warhammer-related activities in interviews.
Cavill recently stepped down from the role of Geralt in The Witcher—to be replaced by The Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth. His run as Superman has also ended, according to a recent announcement by DC Studios co-chair James Gunn.
Warhammer 40K is set in the very distant future (the 40K roughly refers to the years when it takes place) that is analogous in some ways to what historians used to refer to as Europe’s Dark Ages. The franchise is the definition of “grimdark,” painting a picture of a universe in which billions toil to serve a God-Emperor and vast, brutal warfare.
The universe is much more expansive than its politics, though, with countless threats to humanity, including Starship Troopers-like insect hordes and space orks, among other beings.
It is not yet known which part of that vast universe and its sprawling timeline across millennia Amazon’s series will take place, but it’s possible Amazon acquired the rights because of the franchise’s Marvel Cinematic Universe-like scale and potential.