Both the Fantasy and 40k universes are great in their own right, but let’s be honest – 40k is way
flashier. I mean, they have ork units called “Flash Gitz” for Sigmar’s sake. Look at the grimdark gothic
architecture; super soldier demi-gods in power armor battling an array of filthy xenos scum, with
enough extreme prejudice to make Hitler blush. Seriously, nobody likes anybody. Warhammer Fantasy
localizes the plights of the people to one planet. Humans have to fight against all of those antagonistic
races, monstrous demon hordes, and (of course) each other in constant civil wars, whereas 40k explores
the constant war and torment in space.
There’s already been one movie, Ultramarines, but it wasn’t great and it wasn’t the most profound
exploration of a Warhammer universe. The shooting/generic violence is cool, but fans need more than
that. Here’s what I’m excited about: The Lord Inquisitor. This is a fan-made movie project headed by
Erasmus Brosdau (thank you!) working to create a 40k movie, like it should have always been done.
This is a project of passion, made by fans, for fans. The trailer is gorgeous and promising. It captures the
broad scale while focusing on the meticulous details of the universe. I replayed that Bloodletter tongue whip way too many times.
While I would like to see a big budget (eye candy) Warhammer Fantasy movie, I feel like watching Game
of Thrones is a safer and inevitably higher quality option. There are already enough fantasy themed
movies, books, and video games. I mean, look at Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Dragon Age,
Witcher 1/2/3, and so on just to name a few. Tons of swords and stabbing. Did I forget to mention
Dungeons and Dragons?
Yes, Ork Space Pirates are canonical and pimpin’.
Having said that, imagine the Imperium’s desperate reactions to a war spanning multiple solar systems
involving orks (green hairless gorillas), tyranid (zerg on deified steroids), and chaos (devil worshippers).
Why can’t we witness an Inquisitor investigate a genestealer cult (tyranid body snatchers) on a
hiveworld only to discover too late that a tendril of the Tyranid fleet has already released the initial
wave of spores onto the planet’s surface (all dead)?
Spoilers: This is how the Horus Heresy ends
Wars are fought across star systems; space ships travel through a dimension of insane power (warp) that
hearkens back to Lovecraft’s questionable imaginings. The main difference that I perceive – and please
throw your views at me through comments – is not just the scale of setting, but also the meticulous and
fleshed out lives of the imperial citizens.
Yes, the scale is massive. But the magnification of individual lives, mundane and otherwise, the
exploration of lost technologies being discovered and researched because nobody remembers how to
use or recreate it; tons of technology was lost during the Horus Heresy. Mars, for instance, was blasted
into a robotic death trap filled with meme-viruses, devil worshipping robots, and more false information
than you could ever imagine as a result of it being a warzone. These are the types of thoughts that have
been carried to fruition. Warhammer 40k is grimdark to the max. The bleakness isn’t just the tone of the
writing or fluff, it’s a result of the human race slowly rotting away in the fetid twilight of its own failures
and shortcomings (see: xenophobia).
Look at those weak and frail humans. No, they’re the ones in the red robes.
The Warhammer 40k universe contains intrigue at all levels, an incredible scale, and all it needs is
a decent story teller. The tabletop games like Rogue Trader or Dark Heresy are great to play, but
sometimes imagination isn’t enough.
I want to watch the universe slowly unfurl itself, splaying its pages like a spell book’s centerfold. A
fight scene is a fight scene is a sword fight is a knife fight is a laser chainsaw duel in power armor. The
props might change, but the combatants are largely irrelevant eye candy. A generic action flick can
be recreated in any setting, but that’s not what could be great. Observing the slow rot of an empire
spanning the stars across all levels: the soldiers, the super soldiers, aristocrats, beauracrats, everyone. Characters live and breathe within said universe, worlds and planets strive to overcome their own
unique problems, the threat of chaos looming over the Imperium and Inquisitors lurking in the shadows; I want this universe to speak—nay, scream to me—not regurgitate hackneyed archetypes and one
Here’s hoping for the best.