Henry Cavill’s Next Warhammer Universe, Explained

Henry Cavill has announced his involvement in a “cinematic universe” of Warhammer projects produced by Amazon. (Getty/Oli Scarff/AFP)

It’s been quite a few months for Henry Cavill.

In October, he shocked audiences by appearing as Superman in the post-credits scene of the DC movie Black Adam – his first appearance as a character since 2017’s Justice League, other than Zack Snyder’s Justice League recut. He then announced that we would see his Superman again in new DC projects.

Read more: James Gunn Says He and Peter Safran Are Still Working on DC’s Future

Perhaps as a result, Cavill left his role as the titular character Geralt of Rivia in the Netflix fantasy series The Witcher, with Liam Hemsworth recruited to play the season four character.

But then Warner Bros. hired James Gunn and Peter Safran as new DC Extended Universe bosses – and Cavill isn’t in their plans. The star confirmed this week that he will no longer be playing Superman for Warner Bros, with Gunn set to script a film starring a younger Kal-El.

With me so far? In the wake of all of this, many wondered what Cavill would do next. He had just left a big franchise to join another, to end up empty-handed. But it looks like he’s filling those empty hands with perfectly painted alien warrior figures.

Yes, Cavill has announced that he will be “guiding” a “cinematic universe” of projects based on the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game. Amazon has secured the rights to the hugely popular war game from creator Games Workshop, who first released it in 1987.

So what is Cavill up to, and will it be worth watching?

What is Warhammer 40,000?

Warhammer 40,000 is the most popular miniature war game on the planet.  (Oli Scarff/AFP)

Warhammer 40,000 is the most popular miniature war game on the planet. (Oli Scarff/AFP)

With 35 years of history, Warhammer 40,000 is as popular as a tabletop game. It’s a dice-based war game played on a board that features buildings, hills, and other types of terrain, populated by hand-painted characters. These miniatures represent various factions of playable characters, with humans, androids, and aliens.

The game’s action takes place 40,000 years in the future in a time when factions are at war with each other, including aspects of science fiction and fantasy in its complex lore. Rick Priestley, the game’s creator, cited JRR Tolkien, HP Lovecraft, and the 2000AD comics as major influences.

Ever since the game launched in 1987, Games Workshop has been keen to establish the extent of its mythology with tie-in novels and video games. In written form alone, there have been 350 Warhammer 40K books from a variety of authors.

There’s no doubt that Amazon has captured a rich array of storytelling possibilities with this purchase, so it’s important they have the right person to track it all down.

What did Henry Cavill say about his involvement?

Henry Cavill has made no secret of his love for tabletop and PC gaming over the years.  (MovieMagic)

Henry Cavill has made no secret of his love for tabletop and PC gaming over the years. (MovieMagic)

Anyone with more than a cursory knowledge of Henry Cavill knows he’s a huge nerd. He built his own gaming PC during lockdown in 2020 and has repeatedly expressed his admiration for games like World of Warcraft and Total War over the years. That same year, he revealed his “longtime hobby” of painting Warhammer miniatures in an Instagram post.

Of the franchise, he said, “Truly, I can’t get enough of the tradition they’ve built over the decades. They’ve been some of my most enthusiastic reads! If you deny that I I was a geek before, you can’t hide now.”

Read more: Henry Cavill responds to gossip about his personal life

So with Cavill’s nerd credentials firmly established, it only makes sense that he’s the man who holds the keys to the Warhammer franchise. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Cavill would serve as executive producer and star in a television series adaptation of the game.

Officially announcing his involvement in the Warhammer Cinematic Universe (WarCU?) on Instagram, Cavill said he’s been hoping to see the game in live-action form for three decades.

“Having a home like Amazon will give us the freedom to be true to Warhammer’s enormous reach,” he wrote. “To all Warhammer fans, I promise to respect this IP that we love. I promise to bring you something familiar. And I strive to bring you something fantastic that is, as yet, unseen. “

Cavill said the next step is for the burgeoning universe to find itself a director/writer/creator to begin the process of bringing Warhammer 40,000 to life on screen. It seems clear that whoever they hire, Cavill will be a key creative voice going forward.

With a new movie version of Dungeons & Dragons already on the 2023 release slate, this could be quite the year for board game lovers.

Watch: Amazon brings Warhammer to life in the world of film and TV

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