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What is Warhammer 40000 and why does Henry Quill want to make it?

As you probably know, the famous British actor Henry Quill will no longer be playing the role of Superman or Geralt in the Witcher series. He will now act as an executive producer and actor in the Warhammer 40000 cinematic universe. However , what is Warhammer and why does one of Hollywood’s best and most famous actors want to spend his time and money on it?

What is Warhammer?

Warhammer , which is derived from a type of board games that includes mass battles with Napoleonic miniatures and historical miniatures, is a work in which battles are played on large tables with dozens and sometimes hundreds of miniatures on a large scale,  and on the other hand, it is a form of entertainment. where fans try to make those pieces of the game as complex, unique and dramatic as possible. The world of Warhammer was created by the British game developer Games Workshop, which started its business in 1975. The company first produced traditional games and then brought Dungeons & Dragons to Europe. The works of this company are divided into two main branches. The oldest one is Warhammer Fantasy, which is a fantasy setting including swords and sorcery, and the  other and arguably more popular branch is called Warhammer 40,000.

This sci-fi world was born in the 80s as a kind of political satire, and it seems to be the branch that Henry Quill is most interested in, and from there his journey to create a Warhammer cinematic universe will begin. Warhammer 40000 takes place in the 41st millennium, and humanity is officially at the center of its story. This fantasy depicts a grim picture of a post-apocalyptic society trapped in a dark age and ruled by a powerful warlord with powerful psychic abilities known as the God/Emperor of Humanity; Where innovation has stopped and millions of worlds and billions of people struggle to support war on an unimaginable scale.

The main elements of Warhammer 40000

Above all, the world of Warhammer is very dark. This is true of its art style and story. This has indeed opened the way for storytellers of all mediums to adapt the Warhammer 40,000 universe into comics, books, video games, and animation. It is interesting to know that  Games Workshop even has its own TV service called Warhammer TV.

Deeply corrupt and fanatical, humanity in Warhammer 40,000 is in a constant battle against a multitude of equally corrupt threats. Many of Warhammer’s stories revolve around fighting hordes of chitins, powerful orcs, unknown aliens, and even space communists, but the greatest threat to human existence is chaos; A magical force that can destroy entire planets and destroy their inhabitants . However, there are a select number of human factions that serve as the pillars of almost every narrative of this world.

space soldiers

The Space Soldiers are genetically modified supersoldiers from inhabited worlds throughout the Warhammer 40,000 galaxy, and 8-foot-tall brainwashed soldiers, clad in super-powered armor of their own. There are tens of thousands of space soldiers in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, but the average human might go a lifetime without seeing one.

Imperial Guard

Imperial Guard troops are ordinary humans who have enlisted in the Imperial Army or simply been conscripted into military service. Its forces, drawn from across the empire, represent nations and nationalities, including British, French, Russian, and Indian units, among others, that we can easily recognize today. Unlike space soldiers, members of the Imperial Guard are not genetically enhanced, but the ability they do have is bravery.

Adeptus Mechanicus

The Adeptus Mechanicus is a sect of humanity that fully embraces transhumanism . Based on Mars, this group is a very religious group that honors and praises the so-called machine spirit. This group has been responsible for most of mankind’s technological achievements in the last 10,000 years or so.


The Inquisition is a very powerful organization in the Empire of Humanity dedicated to rooting out heresies and blasphemy against the Emperor. Its servants, known as the Inspectors of Opinion, work in secret to foil plots against the Empire. The organization often finds itself at odds with the forces of Chaos, who work behind the scenes to undermine and destroy the Empire.

Classic Warhammer 40,000 storylines

Games Workshop’s own publishing house has over 200 books covering all aspects of the Warhammer brand, some of which include Warhammer Fantasy.  Known as the Black Library, it is the setting for several storylines representing Warhammer 40,000, each of which could be turned into a feature film or the start of a television series.

Heresy of Horus

Horus was the head and master of the 16th Legion of Space Soldiers, which he later renamed the Sons of Horus. He was also the first commander of the empire, the most popular son of the emperor, and ultimately, the greatest traitor in human history. With over 60 books in total, The Horus Heresy tells the story of how the God/Emperor created the Space Soldiers and their civil war and fratricide that began in the 31st millennium and led to that situation in the year 40000.

The Inquisition series

An Inquisition series written by author Dan Abnett tells the story of Inquisition Inquisitors Gregor Eisenhorn, Gideon Ravenor, and Elizabeth Bequin as they work against a powerful plot to destroy the Empire. Think of this series as a combination of Blade Runner, The Young Pope, School Day starring Denzel Washington and Sherlock Holmes.

The Gaunt’s Ghosts

The Gaunt’s Ghosts series, inspired by Sharpe’s Rifles, includes novels by Bernard Cornwell as well as a 1993 television series starring Sean Bean, and is considered a staple of Warhammer 40000. The main character of this series is the imperial commissioner Abram Gantt; A political officer who is also a military leader in the style of classic Russian commissars. He commanded the Tanith, a group of men and women of the Imperial Guard.

What character will Henry Quill play?

Many fans have cast Quill as the Emperor of Mankind, but since the character is literally a living corpse, it’s unlikely he’ll be in that role unless the story focuses on the Horus heresy, in which  case Quill would make more sense as Horus Lupercal, the main traitor of the series, or even as Garville Luken, a heroic space soldier who turns against his rogue brothers.

However, prudence dictates that Amazon is likely to work carefully on this series and tell smaller stories before embarking on an epic the size of Star Wars or Dune. So, we could also see Coyle as Inspector Eisenhorn or perhaps as Commissioner Gantt. Eisenhorn seems like a good choice because his works bring the narrative closer to the centers of power in the Warhammer 40,000 universe and allow for further stories to be told. Interestingly, a live-action adaptation of Eisenhorn’s books was announced in 2019. Of course, little information is available since its introduction.

How big will the cinematic universe of Warhammer 40,000 be?

You should note that Warhammer 40,000 will not include the total Warhammer universe. That’s something Games Workshop definitely wants you to remember. That is why this issue was mentioned in the news that was published recently about the collaboration with Coil. In fact, Warhammer 40000 and Warhammer Fantasy are closely related and can act as a bridge to bring fans from a sci-fi setting to a fantasy setting and vice versa. There are also side works such as Necromunda or Blood Bowl that can create a suitable ground for different adaptations.

Finally, it’s important to note that Games Workshop is sitting on a gold mine as one of the most profitable board game companies. On the other hand  , now that he has introduced Coil as the main figure of his future works, it is simply impossible to predict how far this company can go and how much success it will achieve.

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