It’s been only recently that I’ve allowed myself to splash into the Warhammer hobby after years of peripheral enjoyment. The news soon followed that Warhammer 40,00 is, in fact, going to take on cinematic releases funded by Amazon and overseen by Mister Henry Cavil. At first this sounded wonderful – Amazon has more money than they know what to do with so, as evidenced by Rings of Power, there should be more than enough resources to make whatever they produce look proper.
Then it became obvious that they intend to make live action programs.
All previous iterations of Warhammer in motion have been animated, either traditionally or via CGI. The results have been hit or miss, though the writing always elevates Warhammer fiction (animated or otherwise) above its kitschy peers. Even bad Warhammer stories have some proverbial meat on the bone.
Quality aside, animation always seemed the wise and obvious choice for bringing a world of Space Marines and their alien enemies to life. Said aliens, whether insectoid Tyranid or hellish Chaos daemon, are very alien when compared to the human protagonists that both represent the ornate, heavily armoured humans and making them the least bit coherent alongside void creatures only seem possible through the visual artists’ lens; not the camera.
So imagining real actors in real costumes traversing a Genestealer infested Spacehulk is…off.
It also bears mention how bloody disgusting and awful some elements of the fiction are. Animated Nurglings are rough enough, but a single episode (or movie or whatever) featuring Plaguebearers or worse will send half the viewership to the commode.
I trust Superman and I trust the modern wonders of filmmaking. I mean, I saw Endgame and those aliens looked an awful lot like ‘Nids. But I want mainstream Warhammer film to be good. If it was to remain a weird niche for us nerds then let’s stick to animation and novels. If they’re having an honest go at making Warhammer 40,000 a contender in the big screen world of Thanoses and Avatarses then it simply has to be a cut above and I’m just not sure that will be pulled off.
We shall see.