Leading Hollywood big bod man Henry Cavill is working with Amazon to produce and star in a Warhammer 40,000 series. The mega corporation has secured the rights to the tabletop miniatures game about aliens, demons, and religious fascists, and it sounds like the former face of The Witcher’s Geralt and DC’s Superman will now try his hand at turning one of the most niche nerd franchises into the the streaming wars’ latest overpriced boondoggle.
“Amazon is in final talks for the rights to the game, produced by Games Workshop, after months of negotiations and fending off rival companies that also sought the rights,” The Hollywood Reporter reported on Thursday. Cavill would be set to produce and star in the potential project, while Vertigo Entertainment (Barbarian, Don’t Worry Darling) is signed on as an executive producer.
On Friday the deal became official. Cavill, Amazon, and Games Workshop confirmed the news in a press release. “To all of you Warhammer fans out there, I promise to respect this IP that we love,” Cavill wrote on Instagram. “I promise to bring you something familiar. And I endeavour to bring you something fantastic that is, as of yet, unseen.”
Rendering a galaxy-spanning sci-fi fantasy epic about space orcs and big guns would no doubt be a huge and expensive undertaking. In a contest to win the rights to Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40K, having Cavill onboard no doubt helped. And being in possession of a cloud computing business that prints money, and having just blown $715 million on a Lord of the Rings TV series, Amazon could certainly cut the check.
How did we get to this point? Well, back in August industry insiders began teasing Cavill’s return to the role of Superman for the next phase of DC’s cinematic universe. He then appeared in a post-credits scene for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Black Adam. Next, Cavill announced he was returning to the role of Superman for real, and leaving Netflix’s The Witcher after the third season, where the reins of Geralt would be handed over to Liam Hemsworth. Fans were really upset, and some blamed the direction of the show for not respecting the source material enough, but it was pretty clear Cavill’s new Superman duties were to blame.
Black Adam bombed by comic book blockbuster standards though. And amidst a messy merger with Discovery, Warner Bros’ new boss decided to hire Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn to completely retool the DC cinematic universe. Gunn is going to make a Superman movie, but it will focus on a younger Clark Kent, and won’t have a place for Cavill in it. Oh no.
“After being told by the studio to announce my return back in October, prior to their hire, this news isn’t the easiest, but that’s life,” Cavil wrote at the time. “I respect that James and Peter have a universe to build. I wish them and all involved with the new universe the best of luck, and the happiest of fortunes.”
At least this means he can go back to The Witcher though, right? Nope. Variety reports that is very much not happening. ‘“The Witcher’ Season 4 is moving forward unchanged,” Variety reported yesterday. “There has been a legacy of amazing, iconic characters where the actors have changed and we’re hugely optimistic about this,” Netflix’s Peter Friedlander previously told the magazine.
Now Cavill has nowhere else to go, except Warhammer apparently. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. star’s love for PC and tabletop gaming in general, and Warhammer in particular, is well established at this point. When he’s not getting huge he’s building gaming rigs and touring miniatures shops. In fact, ever since DC ditched Cavill, fans have been posting incessantly on in-decline social media platforms like Twitter about how now is the time for him to bring space marines to a big-budget production. In less than a day, this meme has already become prophecy.
Whether this is a coup for longtime Warhammer players, or the last gasp of an entertainment industry with nothing left to cannibalize remains to be seen.