How our Grimdark Henry Cavill Future Got Here!
It has finally happened, after 40 years our little hobby is poised for the big time with nerd god emperor himself Henry Cavill dropping almost everything to live out his childhood fantasies and bring the Warhammer 40k universe to the big and small screen! Over two years ago in the depths of the Covid lockdowns Henry Cavill teased us with one little picture on Instagram and it set off a cavalcade of clout chasing and hype the likes of which our community has never seen before.
Instantly, every influencer and Youtuber in our community made every attempt to connect with Henry Cavill, but like a sane famous person he didn’t take any of the bait and focused on going to the top. Over the next few years Henry Cavill slowly nurtured his goals, dropping more and more nuggets about his love for Warhammer 40k. Henry Cavill like the Witcher and Superman communities, presented himself as the lovable nerd everyone could relate to, just in an Adonis body, all the while putting on glasses, building a gaming PC, and reading books. Then we have the multiple media appearances where everything no matter the original topic became about Warhammer 40k. This shot his Q score to the highest levels possible in our community and everyone joined in the nerd thirst trap.
What looked like a cute celebrity likes geek stuff story, became an inexorable trajectory with Henry Cavill showing up to Warhammer World not once, but twice. This PR ballet dance became all too clear, nothing was by chance, Henry Cavill and his team were preparing us for this, and we should have seen it earlier. Games Workshop in 2019 decided to start writing tv scripts and was looking at every big studio to hitch the IP to. Then we had Henry Cavill less than a year later showcasing his Warhammer 40k love. The cynic in me sees it this way, Henry Cavill was determined to become the only choice for Games Workshop, he just needed all the pieces to fall into place.
Everything really started to come together in October, when Henry Cavill left the Witcher over what sounds like creative control issues. Then he rejoins the DC as Superman, only to meet with the new head of DC a month later, the almost equally loved Tim Gunn, just to leave Superman again. Taking a cynics view again with the news today, it looks like Henry went to DC to tell them he wasn’t coming back, but made it look like he was forced out without saying so. Since nothing happens in a vacuum; contracts and negotiations like these don’t happen overnight, especially when Games Workshop is involved. Superman was Henry Cavill’s backup plan and when the Warhammer 40k project was about to get finalized he jumped ship. Besides, the default reaction from fandom when DC does something stupid is to just to blame the DC corporate overlords and no one else.
This brings us to now, and Henry Cavill gets what he wants, but more than just staring, he critically gets the title of executive producer, giving him a degree of control over creation he has craved since the Witcher. Moreover, Henry Cavill has completed a PR master class campaign in the age of social media rarely seen before.
If you really think about it, Warhammer 40k was the last great creative IP universe for the taking, and Henry Cavill is getting in at the ground floor. That is really the key for Henry Cavill, he is only 39 and has plenty of years to mold and shape the Warhammer 40k universe for mass media. If he can do the same things he has done to shape his career and public persona, Warhammer 40k should be in good hands. He will of course have help from the endless pockets of Amazon, but more importantly Vertigo Entertainment which specializes in horror and dark stories, along with being masters of handling adaptations are perfect for the Grimdark future we all want to see put to the screen.
What remains to be seen is how much veto power Games Workshop has with ideas, scripts, and direction. Andy Smillie, is the GW representative as creative director, so we can assume he should have some power, but will he just get bullied by all the stronger hands in this pot, it reminds to be seen? Either way this is a glorious time for our Warhammer 40k community and we all should be very happy with how we got here.
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