So, there we have it. After ditching The Witcher and being booted out of the DC movies as Superman once again, Henry Cavill has already found his next gig: Warhammer 40K. That’s right. Games Workshop has confirmed that it is in advanced negotiations with Amazon Prime studios to greenlight a Warhammer 40K series and subsequent movies set in the grim dark future, where there is only war.
What’s more, THR has reported that Henry Cavill is attached to the new project in two capacities. Firstly, Cavill will be the face of the collaboration, and will star in the TV series himself. Secondly, he will also serve as an executive producer, giving him influence over the direction and creative decisions. That means that, unlike is rumoured to be the case with The Witcher, he will be able to ensure that the showrunners stick with the source material and spirit of Warhammer 40K.
As we wrote less than a month ago, a Henry Cavill Warhammer 40K movie or series has endless possibilities. The Warhammer 40K universe is one of the most creatively rich, imaginative, and beloved fictional universes around right now, and it’s only a surprise that its obvious potential hasn’t been capitalised on sooner.
Of course, as it stands, there is no indication of what the sci-fi series‘ story will be, who will be involved in directing, who will write, and who Henry Cavill will play. We have countless questions and next to no answers. But that won’t stop us from indulging in some good old-fashioned speculation to attempt to address one of those questions: who will Henry Cavill play in the Warhammer 40K series?
Because the Warhammer universe has so many memorable and fascinating characters, it really could be anyone, but here are our three picks for who we think Cavill could star as in the upcoming Warhammer 40K series, and we’ve tried to cover all bases.
The Emperor of Mankind
This is one of the more obvious picks because the Emperor of Mankind is, as his name suggests, the single most important figure in Warhammer 40K history and lore.
Though in the year 40,000 itself, his decaying body is immobile and only kept alive through the Golden Throne, his power over the universe is still supreme. The armies of the Imperium of Man fight in his name, and his abilities as a psyker are what prevents the hordes of Chaos from completely engulfing the galaxy.
But, Henry Cavill isn’t going to be playing a static, unmoving and unspeaking pile of bones. So, if the superhero movie star did play the Emperor of Mankind, it would be set in the thousands of years before he was mortally wounded as kept in stasis on the Golden Throne.
That would open up the potential for a Warhammer 40K series that centred on the Horus Heresy, the epic galaxy-spanning war between father and son that led to the state of the play that we see in the year 40,000. It’s what leaves the Emperor of Mankind physically broken and would be the perfect subject for a long-form TV series.
If Henry Cavill doesn’t end up playing the supreme ruler of mankind (and to be fair to the chap, that would be a lot of pressure), then he might want to take on a role that’s a little less overwhelming. But, only a little.
The Primarchs are the 20 ‘sons’ of the Emperor, whose genetics were later used to create the subsequent 20 Space Marine legions. They were the generals of his armies and key players in the Horus Heresy and beyond.
But which of the 20 Primarchs would Henry Cavill play? The stand-out choice is Roboute Guilliman, whose genetics go on to found the Ultramarines.
The Ultramarines are, essentially, the main characters of Warhammer 40K and the de facto Warhammer 40K faction for newcomers, so it would make sense to get some kind of Cavill-fronted origin story to them and their history. Guilliman himself is also a character who has a violent background of war and conquest, and who wouldn’t want to see that?
So far, the two picks that we’ve suggested Henry Cavill might play in the Warhammer 40K series wouldn’t actually be set in the year 40,000. But, if Henry Cavill played an agent of the Imperial Inquisition set in the main 40K timeline, that would provide a chance for fans of the tabletop game to see the Warhammer 40K world as they know it.
The beauty of Cavill playing an Inquisitor is simple: he could be an entirely new character within the Warhammer 40K universe and so tell an entirely new story in the framework without worrying about adherence to decades of lore.
The Inquisitors are the high-ranking demon hunters who scour the galaxy to ensure that the Imperium is free from the influence of Xenos and other nasties, so it’s easy to see how you could construct a TV series with an original story.
Alternatively, Cavill could play a named Inquisitor, and the obvious choice is Eisenhorn. Eisenhorn is the main character in a series of Warhammer 40K books written by Dan Abnett (who also wrote the source material for the first Guardians of the Galaxy superhero movie), which follow the bloody adventures of Gregor Eisenhorn.
His story is long and dramatic, and suitably grim. If Cavill does want to go down the direct adaptation route rather than creating a new character and new story, this would be the perfect option.
Those are our three initial picks for who Henry Cavill could play in the upcoming Amazon Warhammer 40K series. It goes without saying that there are plenty of other choices too because the 40K universe is so expansive. To learn more about the sci-fi franchise, check out this guide to what is Warhammer 40K?
For more on Henry Cavill, check out our guide to his last outing as Geralt with our explainer on The Witcher season 3. Or, branch out into sci-fi more generally with our guide to the Star Trek: Picard season 3 release date and the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 release date.