The world has been ablaze with franchise adaptations from popular media left and right. We’ve seen the revival of Lord of the Rings with a new TV series, Game of Thrones‘ first spinoff has found its way to HBO while DC is trying to get its own universe together. Netflix is even hoping to create a cinematic universe based on the ever-popular Power Rangers to compete with other growing franchises. In all the discussions surrounding IP adaptations, there’s a noticeable lack of news on the adaptation of live-action Warhammer 40K.
The table-top classic has quite the expansive lore and history that opens up many avenues for a cinematic universe like no other. While its stories are quite bleak, the variety its expansive books offer is nothing to ignore so easily. Surprisingly, there’s not been a big move like Netflix has done with its Power Rangers franchise but only news of Man in the Hgh Castle‘s Frank Spotnitz working on a possible series.
The last we seemingly heard of this project was back in July of 209. The series would adapt the novels of Eisenhorn, the story of the Inquisitor of the same name, which was written by Dan Abnett. So far, it seems this is the only adaptation planned and maybe a way for Games Workshop to test the waters first. While the Warcraft adaptation had high expectations going in, its sequel setup never managed to really pick up any pace.
At the moment, the attempt to adapt Warhammer 40K is less Marvel Cinematic Universe but more Detective Pikachu. Instead of focusing on the main storyline that many might know, Eisenhorn isn’t a classic Space Marine but a perfect vessel to offer an easy guide into the world of this franchise without overloading newcomers with the history of the Emperor of Mankind, Orks, Necrons, Old Ones, Warp, and so much more.
It’s surprising that there isn’t more push in the heyday of streaming IPs, especially with many wanting to have the IP that becomes their flagship series to compete. Something as violent and bloody as Warhammer 40K definitely would stand out in the era of popular franchises like The Boys, House of the Dragon, Deadpool, and more.
One very big fan of the tabletop game actually pointed out one of the reasons there hasn’t been such a rush to get these projects out. Henry Cavill, The Witcher and Man of Steel star, has been quite vocal about his love for the game and pointed out that Games Workshop is still very careful about adapting their IP with the uncertainty of how some end up.
I think because Games Workshop have been very protective of their IP, and that’s a great decision, and very wise. There haven’t been just loads of TV shows and movies all done poorly. It needs to be handled perfectly. It needs to be handled to a Lord Of The Rings level. And if it’s not, I’ll be massively disappointed.Henry Cavill
He jokingly pointed out that joining a Warhammer 40K project would be a dream come true, even if he won’t just take any role. He even jokingly call Eisenhower “a mere Inquisitor” when discussing what role he’d love to take on. He’d definitely be perfect as a flagship actor to push a dark dystopian world into the mainstream.
The franchise has been slowly growing once again beyond its tabletop and literary roots, as there have been quite a few mainstream game releases throughout the years. They are even returning to the Space Marine franchise that was released back in 2011 with a sequel which was first announced in December of 2021. So, with it gaining more attention with new releases, it would be a shame that they don’t use the momentum to their advantage.
Hopefully, Spotnitz‘s series will start to offer an update in the near future as once casting begins we’ll have a clearer picture of when we might expect the production to kick off. There’s a chance that the success of the first Warhammer 40K series could kick off further expansion exploring the vast galaxy and humankind’s seemingly neverending war. For now, we can only hope that news is just around the corner.