The last few months have been an utter roller-coaster of emotions for those following Henry Cavill’s career. At first, we were elated to hear that he’d be returning to Warner Bros. Discovery’s DC Universe (DCU), under James Gunn and Peter Saffran’s leadership, as Superman. This bittersweet news came with another announcement that after another season with Netflix’s “The Witcher”, he would depart from the role of Geralt of Rivia. Then the news went from bittersweet to just plain bitter because…the DCU is getting rebooted and Cavill isn’t in it. C’mon, this is why we can’t have nice things! So in short, Cavill has no Superman and will soon have no Geralt either. And just when things seem to be at their darkest (or grimdark), the holy light of Games Workshop came pouring through, and it was announced on Henry Cavill’s official Instagram account that he would be working alongside Amazon Studios, Games Workshop and Vertigo Studios to give us a live-action “Warhammer: 40,000” show!
As major science fantasy nerds and lovers of the 40k lore, this is utter music to our ears. We will get to see Lord Cavill purge the mutant, the heretic and Xenos in high-production glory! Gushing aside, some of you are probably scratching your heads and wondering what the hell is going on. What on earth is “Warhammer: 40,000” and is it a franchise worth investing in? To that, we say: have faith and stick with us as we break down everything you need to know about Cavill’s involvement in this exciting franchise!
The Insane Setting
Obviously, we’re massive fans of the “Warhammer: 40,000” lore and the world but full disclosure: it gets pretty convoluted and messy. There’s a ton of history and characters to cover from the psychic space elves called the Eldar to the plant-based Orks who make technology work by belief to ancient robotic mummies called the Necron. If any of that sounds awesome to you, then we highly recommend picking up one of the novels from Games Workshop’s Black Library. For the sake of discussing Henry Cavill’s new show, you’ll only need to focus on two major factions for now: the Imperium of Man and the Forces of Chaos led by the Chaos Gods.
Now, based on the post made on Henry Cavill’s Instagram post with the symbol of the double-headed eagle, which is the Aquila of the Imperium of Man, Cavill’s new show will centre around the human faction. The Imperium of Man is a vast intergalactic empire run by strict military rule. In the dark future of the 40th millennium, there is only war and humanity is besieged on all sides by aliens (called Xenos) and daemons from a spiritual, psychic realm called the Warp. Long ago, humanity had the Emperor of Mankind to lead them through the perils of the universe and to finally bring order to everything. He had 20 genetically-engineered sons he charged with this Great Crusade, the Primarchs.
Things were going pretty well at first with humanity advancing rapidly and with the Primarchs leading their own genetically-engineered sons into battle, the Space Marines. However, it all went to hell (literally) when the Chaos Gods seduced the Emperor’s beloved son Horus, making him turn on his father and tear the Imperium apart. Thus began the Horus Heresy. Ultimately the Emperor defeated Horus but was left mortally wounded and kept barely alive and mostly catatonic on a device called the Golden Throne. His dream of an enlightened, secular human empire was soon perverted into a backward, fascist one where he is worshipped as a god.
With the Emperor now silent, humanity stands on the edge of destruction. Half the Primarchs and their legions of Space Marines have joined Chaos, and the other Primarchs have either disappeared or have been killed. The future is bleak and mankind is beset on all sides by innumerable foes waiting to drag us into the dark. Fortunately, mankind will not go quietly into the night. Space Marines loyal to the Imperium, Inquisitors who revere the God Emperor and the mortal soldiers of the Astra Militarum fight tirelessly to defend humanity. They do this with the belief that faith alone can conquer the universe.
Why You Should Be Excited?
At this point, some of you now might be going: Okay, I sorta get it but why should I care? To that, we say: burn the heretic! All kidding aside, basically the “Warhammer: 40,000” universe can be best described as Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings meets Lovecraftian cosmic horror. If you are a fan of either of those things, then this franchise is definitely for you. It has all the awesome space battles and sci-fi splendour of the Star Wars universe with a little hint of darkness to it. For example, when humans try to travel across the universe quickly, they don’t just jump into Hyperspace. They literally have to travel through the Warp invested with daemons and gods to get to their destination.
Those looking to see some glorious action on-screen will not be disappointed. There are epic large-scale battles that encompass whole planets. Yet there are also spooky horror-based stories that will chill you to the bone. There are tales of noble warriors, duplicitous scoundrels and mad zealots. As much as we’d love to go on about why you need to get in on this, we figured it’s better that you see for yourself. Be sure to check out Games Workshop’s trailer for “Warhammer: The Horus Heresy” to get an idea of how grand and awesome the “Warhammer: 40,000” universe is. Now imagine this…with a billion-dollar budget.
What’s Henry Cavill’s Role?
As of now, there has not been any particular role set for Henry Cavill. We certainly know that the project is being developed by the hunky nerd but it’s in very early development. Judging by Cavill’s love for the miniature table-top game, he’ll most likely play the role of a Space Marine. Space Marines are massive in size and are the peak of the human physique so it makes sense that Cavill would play the role of one. There’s also been speculation that Cavill might play the role of an Inquisitor, namely Gregor Eisenhorn, going around the galaxy investigating demonic and alien trouble. Think of them as Witchers but more religious and scary.
Now in his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cavill also said that “he’ll “shepherd this cinematic universe” which means he’ll also be heavily involved in the story, production and writing as well. It’s possible that Cavill could take a backseat role to direct and oversee the show but it’s highly unlikely. Cavill loves the franchise and setting, he probably won’t pass up the chance to star in a show too.
We know the man was very passionate about CD Projekt Red’s “The Witcher” games, which translated well into his depiction of Geralt. No matter what role Cavill takes, we’re excited to see what he brings to the table!