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The Warhammer 40k Henry Cavill film and TV series deal

Henry Cavill is a massive fan of Warhammer 40k - his involvement in the Warhammer hobby goes back well before the Warhammer 40k film deal.

Henry Cavill in a hood on the Witcher set.

The Warhammer 40k Henry Cavill relationship is the talk of the town since Cavill revealed his Warhammer 40k movie deal with Amazon. The British actor, known for roles like Superman and Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher, has made no secret of his love for the hobby.

It’s cemented him as the hobby’s most prominent ambassador – and Here’s a breakdown of that love affair, and how leads up to the prominent Amazon film deal.

Celebrities don’t often step into the world of tiny plastic figures being shuffled about on tabletops, at least not publicly, so it’s no wonder fans have sat up and taken notice. Now come with us as we take a journey through Henry Cavill’s Warhammer fandom and celebrate one of the world’s most famous nerds.

Before we set off, though, we’ve got plenty more Warhammer 40k goodies. For total newcomers to the setting, you should check out our guide exploring “What is Warhammer 40k?” You can stay up-to-date with the latest news in our 10th edition Warhammer 40k codex release date guide, as well as the Warhammer: The Old World guide. We can even tell you all about our best blue buddies, the Warhammer 40k Space Marines.

A Henry Cavill Warhammer 40k action figure.

The Henry Cavill Warhammer 40k movie

In December 2022, fan speculation about Henry Cavill starring in a Warhammer 40k movie or TV series suddenly became a reality. On December 16 2022, Cavill, Games Workshop, and Amazon Studios jointly announced a TV and movie deal, which would see Cavill star in and executive produce at least one Warhammer 40k screen adaptation.

While the deal was announced at that stage, the contracts for the 40k Amazon film deal weren’t signed until December 2023. Work won’t start before 2025, and as yet there are absolutely no details on what format the project will take: a film, films, TV show or TV shows. Games Workshop is extremely protective of its IP, which may have contributed to the delay between the deal being announced and it being signed.

In an interview with Steve Weintraub at Collidor, Cavill gave a brief update: “Warhammer is progressing very well. Big things are happening and we are very excited.”

Henry Cavill holding a Warhammer figure.

Who will Henry Cavill play in the Warhammer 40k film?

While promoting The Witcher in 2021, Cavill mentioned that he’d love to star in a Warhammer 40k TV programme, if there were one developed. He noted that there would be a small conundrum for him if he were to be cast: he could only play one character.

If you only know Warhammer 40k as “that game with toy soldiers”, and not from the literally hundreds of Warhammer 40k books, you might not appreciate how big a quandary that is. The Imperium of Man is overflowing with interesting heroes and anti-heroes. Suggestions such as a Primarch or Gregor Eisenhorn were made, but Henry Cavill only replied that he’d have to “talk to Games Workshop”.

We can already think of a few other nerdy celebs who would want a role in the adaptation alongside him. Midnight Mass actor Rahul Kohli has in the past commissioned his own personal Rahul Kohli mini army, and provided the voice for a Space Marine in Warhammer 40k Boltgun.

Warhammer 40k Henry Cavill - a tweet from Rahul Kohli

Kohli even made a cheeky tweet at Cavill on December 15, the day before the deal was confirmed by Games Workshop and Amazon, asking for a role. Sex Education star Asa Butterfield replied with enthusiasm, saying “I’ll play a servitor if I have to”.

Henry Cavill’s history with Warhammer 40k

It’s been public knowledge for years that Henry Cavill is a total geek. He’s shared step-by-step photos of building his own gaming PC, and almost missed a call telling him he’d landed the role of Superman because he was too deep into a World of Warcraft raid to notice the phone ringing. But it’s his Warhammer 40k appreciation that has endeared him to so many Warhammer fans.

Speaking in the interview with Geeked in December 2021, Cavill revealed he’d been into the hobby since he was 10 years old. Cavill’s love affair with Warhammer came into the public eye during the lockdown of 2020.

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Many of us rediscovered old hobbies during this period, or developed new ones, and Hollywood stars were no different. In a post on Instagram, Cavill spoke about picking up the paintbrush once again to improve his Warhammer painting skills. He also revealed his long-held love of Warhammer lore.

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A post shared by Henry Cavill (@henrycavill)

In July 2021, while taking part in an interview at WitcherCon talking about his role as Geralt of Rivia in the hit fantasy series, Cavill took a moment to interrupt the interviewer to talk about a curious resemblance he’d seen between a prop and a very niche deep cut from Warhammer 40k lore. “Every day on set, on this set, I was grinding my teeth because there was no-one who would know the reference… that Chandelier looks like a Blackstone Fortress”.

If you’re unfamiliar, the Blackstone Fortresses are ancient weapons created for the galaxy’s first ever war, which resemble massive space stations. They entered 40k lore via the 1999 wargame Battlefleet Gothic, and feature heavily in the 2016 and 2019 Warhammer 40k videogames Battlefleet Gothic: Armada and its sequel.

When Cavill appeared on the Graham Norton show later in 2021 he got stuck in an all too familiar conversation, as the British talk show host enquired about his hobby “painting World of War Craft”. Cavill corrected him: “It’s Warhammer, Graham”.

Who hasn’t been on  the end of a grilling by someone outside the hobby, causing no end of embarrassment? Some viewers thought Norton was a bit quick to dismiss his hobby, posting on social media in defence of both the hobby and the actor.

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This Warhammer chat with Graham Norton did also bring the hobby to the attention of Tom Holland, who noted that Henry Cavill’s description sounded amazing.

In the months and years that followed this, Henry Cavill became increasingly entwined with Warhammer. He posted a picture of himself on a jet reading Penitent by Dan Abnett, made a little reference to an alternate name for the Emperor of Mankind, and shared one of his most recently completed models – a golden Custodes he painted using Adrian Smith’s famous artwork as inspiration.

February of 2022 brought Henry Cavill on a pilgrimage to that most holy of Warhammer sites, Warhammer World in Nottingham. Whilst there he took the time to answer questions and pose for selfies with the surprised Warhammer fans. Even Games Workshop staff got in on the action, and who can blame them?


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A post shared by Henry Cavill (@henrycavill)

Now that his love for Warhammer 40k is out in the open, the wider fandom has taken notice, and a lot of 40k fans have taken to recreating him in hobby conversions. This Adeptus Custodes figure ‘Heinrich Cavillius’ represents around 100 hours of work from Warhammer fan Simon Cook. Star Wars concept artist Pablo Dominguez turned his industry skills to creating Henry Cavill as a Space Marine.

Cavill is even available as a High Elf hero in Total War: Warhammer 2 DLC, added by the game’s director to reflect his positive influence as an advocate of the hobby. As Cavill’s a fan of PC gaming and the Total War series in particular, we think this is an excellent fit.

What’s next for Warhammer and Henry Cavill?

It looks like Cavill will have a lot on his plate 40k-wise for some time now. However, if he can get a successful series or film off the ground, the sky’s the limit for his next nerdy undertaking.

Maybe one day he’ll even star in a 40k videogame like the one in our 2022 April fools story. The fake game, which hoodwinked much of the Warhammer internet, had Cavill playing the Emperor in an open-world RPG by Dark Souls creator FromSoftware. In case you’ve seen that floating around the interwebs, let us quickly confirm that, yes, we were having you on. Sorry.