The Emperor Returns: Henry Cavill Is Bringing Us A Warhammer Cinematic Universe

Henry Cavill has been in the news a lot recently due to his various roles. He announced he was stepping away from The Witcher, then that he was not going to be re-donning Superman’s red cape. Now we have another announcement that has Warhammer Fans heads turning. Everyone’s favourite nerd is going to be Executive producer and star of the Warhammer 40,000 cinematic universe in a new deal between Games Workshop and Amazon Studios.

“I have loved Warhammer since I was a boy, making this moment truly special for me. The opportunity to shepherd this cinematic universe from its inception is quite the honour and the responsibility”

Henry Cavill

It seems like the details are still being hashed out, but here’s what we know so far:

Amazon Have Secured The Rights to the Warhammer 40,000 Cinematic Universe

In a statement released today Amazon studios have announced they have reached a deal with Games Workshop. They’ve secured the global rights to the Warhammer 40,000 intellectual property. It’s a groundbreaking deal in terms of the scope of the IP, and have said it will allow them to create content from the 41st millennium  ‘across series, film and more’.  

“We are excited to work with Henry, Vertigo Entertainment, and Games Workshop across our Amazon entertainment businesses on this brilliant, immersive franchise for our global customers to experience for years to come.”

Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon and MGM Studios

Henry Cavill is Promising To Stay True To The Lore We Love

Henry Cavill during his recent visit to Warhammer World

From the statement released by Games Workshop Henry Cavill has partnered with Vertigo Entertainment to secure the rights to the Warhammer 40,000 universe and the partnership with Amazon. Cavill and Vertigo will continue as Exective Producers. They’ll be joined by Games Workshop’s creative director Andy Smillie and global IP and product design director Max Bottrill. 

We know how invested Warhammer fans are in the lore and backstory (we have a whole section on our site dedicated to exploring it!) and we also know that fans are passionate enough to make their voices heard when this lore is presented incorrectly. Knowing that Henry Cavill shares this passion for the source material, and is backed up by producers that are also very invested in the lore, makes us optimistic that the content will be the quality we all want.

“Finally, Warhammer will make it to the screen as the fans have hoped, and as they deserve. Exciting times!”

Andy Smillie, creative director of Games Workshop

“To all 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” 

Henry Cavill, from his statement on Instagram

It Sounds Like There Are Big Plans For The Future

Obviously this is firmly in the early stages of planning – they’re still seeking a filmmaker, creator and writer. But what we’ve noticed repeatedly in the statements we’ve seen is references to this being a long term deal. Henry Cavill’s Instagram post specifically says he’s aiming to guide a ‘Warhammer Cinematic Universe’ into life’. Andy Smillie has said that the partnership ‘will serve us all well in the coming years’. 

It might be early to get optimistic but with a big studio like Amazon backing a massive IP like Warhammer 40,000 it seems quite possible to us that we’ll be seeing multiple films and TV shows in the future.

A banner image for Element Games displaying their 15-25% discount on Warhammer

What Do We Think We’ll See From The Warhammer Cinematic Universe?

Like everyone will be in light of this news the team at HoD have all been trying to predict what this is going to mean going forwards.

Firstly, we think this could be a mortal wound for Warhammer+. Amazon can obviously throw a lot of money at producing content. If they’re opening their wallets we can’t see them wanting to share viewers. We think the service will essentially be cut back to battle reports and painting tutorials. If we’re being honest there’s a lot of competition with YouTube channels that are already producing amazing content in that area.

The statements have been quite clear that the IP Amazon studios have purchased rights to is 40k related. We’ve had a few different thoughts about what content they’ll be producing. 

Love it or hate it, we know the Space Marines are the poster boys of Games Workshop’s ranges. So it’s possible that we’ll end up with TV shows or movies featuring them heavily. Henry Cavill has been quite vocal about how much he loves the Custodes. We’re just saying if we had the chance to make ourselves the star of a Custodes film we probably would.

That said, it’s likely to require a lot of CGI to bring a Space Marine or Custodes series to life. We know The Black Library is stocked full of excellent book series that are dying for adaptation to the screen and feature plenty of heroic human characters. Gaunt’s Ghosts or the Caphias Cain series – Cavill would make a great frontman for either of them. We know Gaunt’s based on Bernard Cornwall’s Sharpe character, who was adapted to a successful TV series. There’s obviously the Horus Heresy content with loads of books spanning a huge range of the lore. It may be a good starting point, assuming it falls under the 40k IP rights. The promo image we’ve seen shared it could hint at possible Heresy content. Is that half an Aquila that’s crumbling and corrupted?

Photo of the imperial aquila, half pristine and half crumbling and decayed, used to promote the Warhammer Cinematic Universe in recent annoucements

It wouldn’t be hard for Amazon to create a universe in the Warhammer 40,000 setting similar to the Star Wars series on Disney+. Based in the same galaxy but not necessarily connected to the other stories. The endless battlefronts of the 41st millennium certainly provide ample opportunity. Ultimately the whole announcement has sparked a ton of discussion about the possibilities, both among the HoD team and the whole fanbase.

Who Should Henry Cavill Play?
If 'Other' is filled, checked answers are ignored.

We’re also hopeful the success of this initial branch into Warhammer live action will see it expand to other IPs. Age of Sigmar would open up another massive branch of Warhammer IP that could produce some fantastic content.

What do you think we’ll see from the Warhammer Cinematic Universe? Will the content live up to expectations, or leave fans disappointed? Let us know in the comments!

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