The Creator of Man in the High Castle Is Bringing Warhammer 40,000 to Live-Action TV

Inquisitor Eisenhorn seeks out heresy at every turn.
Image: Clint Langley (Black Library/Games Workshop)

The grim dark future of the 41st Millennium is coming to live-action television for the first time—and Games Workshop has recruited the creator behind Amazon’s Man in the High Castle adaptation, Frank Spotnitz, to do so.

Announced today by the wardens of the Warhammer 40K and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar tabletop gaming franchises—and the vast multimedia empire of books, comics, games, and other adaptations behind them—Spotnitz’s Big Light Productions will helm a live-action TV show based around the character of Gregor Eisenhorn.

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Eisenhorn isn’t one of the giant, armor-clad Space Marines that defend the human empire of the gory, 41st millennium Warhammer 40,000 is set in. Instead, he’s an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos—a free-roaming agent of the God-Emperor of Mankind that goes about hunting down the taint of daemons and other alien influences from Humanity and its vast, but ever-dwindling Imperium.

Created in 2001 by writer Dan Abnett initially for a series of Warhammer 40K novels, Eisenhorn and his motley retinue of fellow Inquisitors have become some of the most beloved characters in the vast lore of the tabletop franchise, spawning spinoff video games, audio dramas, comics, and, as it is Games Workshop, some rather pricey but rather lovely models.

Spotnitz will serve as both showrunner and executive producer on the series—alongside Big Light Productions’ creative director, Emily Feller—which has only recently entered development, as this gleefully silly flowchart explanation from Games Workshop themselves explains, intended for fans more into their tabletop miniatures than the nitty-gritty details of TV production:

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There’s probably less giant cathedral ships of mass destruction involved in making TV though. Only guessing on that front.

It’s far from Games Workshop’s first attempt to spin off its beloved tabletop series into the realm of cinema—Abnett himself penned the script for the 2010 animated Space Marine movie Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie, and more recently, the company recruited a 40K fan filmmaker, Richard Boylan, to produce a new animated web series about the Blood Angels chapter of the Space Marines.

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But even compared to those projects, this is a massive undertaking for Warhammer 40K’s presence beyond the miniature battlefields it has called home for decades. We’ll bring you more on Games Workshop and Spotnitz’s plans for Eisenhorn as and when we learn it.


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James Whitbrook

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!