Movies & TV / News

Warhammer 40,000 Live-Action Series in Development

July 17, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Warhammer 40,000

Get your space marines in order and ready your best grimdark glare folks, because a Warhammer 40,000 television series is in the works. Big Light Productions and Games Workshop announced on Wednesday that The Man In The High Castle creator Frank Spotnitz is serving as showrunner and executive producer on the live-action series.

The show will be titled Eisenhorn and will draw from the novel series of the same name, which is based in the universe of the miniator wargames and roleplaying game. It does not currently have a broadcast or streaming deal, but will be shopped out to networks soon.

Warhammer 40,000 began life as a miniature wargame from Games Workshop in 1987. Set in the distant future, the universe is the classic example of “grimdark” storytelling that involves dystopian, amoral settings replete with violence. The 40K universe is one in which a stagnant human civilization is under seige from hostile aliens and supernatural creatures. Although planned from the beginning, the first Warhammer 40K roleplaying game wasn’t published until 2008, when the setting was expanded The Eisenhorn novels come from Dan Abnett, with the first book published in 2001. They are described as follows:

While humanity’s armies wage unending war across a million battlefields, in the darkness, a secret conflict rages – fought by the agents of the Imperial Inquisition. Drawing from sci-fi, fantasy and crime genres, Eisenhorn will see Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn and his band of investigators fight to thwart the monstrous schemes of aliens, heretics and daemons before mankind’s doom is sealed.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Games Workshop to develop the beloved visionary world of Warhammer 40,000 into a TV series,” Spotnitz said. “Warhammer 40,000 is steeped in rich and complex lore, with a myriad of traditions and stories that have accumulated over time in this thrilling and complex world, making it one of the most exciting properties to adapt for television audiences and the franchise’s loyal global fanbase. There is nothing else like it on television, and we are incredibly excited to tap into our own experience creating imaginative, complex and compelling worlds to bring this incredible saga to the screen.”

Andy Smillie, Games Workshop’s Global Head of Marketing & Media, adds, “We’re thrilled to be working with Frank and his team at Big Light. Warhammer 40,000 has a massive global fanbase – they are a passionate community of Warhammer hobbyists who love to engage with our characters, stories and games. I’m truly delighted we are able to develop a show that will reward their loyalty. Inquisitor Eisenhorn represents one of the best-loved characters within our worlds, and we’re excited to share his exploits and adventures with audiences new and old. Frank and his outstanding team at Big Light have done amazing things with other properties, bringing complex worlds to the screen, and we can’t wait to see what our partnership produces for the grim darkness of Warhammer 40,000.”

Author Dan Abnett said, “Gregor Eisenhorn is a relentless force in the dark future of the Warhammer universe: a destroyer of daemons and a purger of heretics, implacable, powerful and dedicated. But the appeal to me, from the moment I started writing him, was his complexity. He is not the simple, ruthless hero he appears to be. His battle with the Warp leads him into dark places and forces him to question his duty, his understanding of the Imperium, and his own identity. With Eisenhorn, it’s not just the adventures, and they are certainly vivid: it’s the journey he takes to the very limits of what he is and what it means to be loyal.”

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Warhammer 40K, Jeremy Thomas