Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 ,or 40K to fans, has always been an interesting fictional world, the setting for a tabletop war game created in the late 80’s, it’s become far more than that in the years since with other tabletop games, numerous computer games and books also set in the dystopian dark future.
The “grim dark” setting has humanity scattered across the galaxy in the far future of the 41st millenium, the Imperium of Man, a brutal theocratic regime which worships the immortal God-Emperor of mankind. Space Marines ,genetically engineered soldiers, are the Imperium’s elite soldiers fighting in a perpetual war with various other races across the galaxy as the Imperium teeters on the brink of collapse due to its own internal schisms.
These schisms are the result of the Emperor being betrayed by his most trusted son Warmaster Horus in what is referred to as the Horus Heresy, a galaxy spanning bitter civil war in 31st millenium. This war which lasted for several years, resulting in the deaths of countless millions across numerous planets, culminated in the death of Warmaster Horus but not before he mortally injured the Emperor, leading him to his internment in the Golden Throne for eternity.
Although it should be noted that in the grim far future of the 41st millenium there’s a notable and distinct gender disparity in the armies of the 40K game and setting, this is something that’s been the subject of debate in articles like this one over the years. The table top game itself is somewhat notorious for being perceived as a boys club, something almost impenetrable and even hostile in its gender disparity as one girl fan explains here.
Despite the aforementioned problems the setting of 40K would make for a great film. The reality of course being that it would never happen, any 40K film would require a budget in blockbuster territory which isn’t going to happen, until it did. Kind of.
Ultramarines appeared in 2010 an animated film set in the 40K world, this was everything fans had been waiting for. Only it wasn’t. Despite its impressive voice cast ,featuring Sean Pertwee and John Hurt amongst others, its animation was underwhelming and smacked of budget constraints. Fans hopefully, gleefully (and somewhat unrealistically) expecting a feature length 40K film in the vein of the Dawn of War II trailer which appeared in 2009 were rather disappointed with the results to say the least. Although it did have its moments where it rose above its failings like John Hurt’s Chaplin shouting “BURN HERETICS!” in a skirmish
Then an interesting thing happened, Erasmus Brosdau Senior 3D Artist, and later Art Director at Crytek started a blog featuring 3D models of ships and other things from the 40K universe. The project snowballed and Brosdau over time was joined by a small talented team all working away in their spare time. A trailer named “The Lord Inquisitor” appeared sometime later and promptly blew everyone away, selling the 40K universe and teasing a story in little over 2 minutes with better looking animation than seen in the Ultramarines film.
The Inquisition is probably one of the most interesting things in the whole 40K setting, in simple terms they are the secret police of the Imperium and work outside the hierarchy of the Imperium. The Eisenhorn trilogy by writer Dan Abnett is an acclaimed fan favourite story about Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn and remains a high point for 40K fiction over 10 years after its initial publication.
Flash forward a few years and another teaser trailer appeared named “Grey Knights” focussing on a different faction of the space marines to equal acclaim. One of the interesting and impressive things is Brosdau and his team have managed to produce such good offerings with nothing other than time invested in a labour of love.
Which leads to now, the 8 minute prologue to The Lord Inquisitor hit the internet on 28 August and has so far racked up over 900,000 views, gaining widespread acclaim from 40K fans who have been waiting decades for something of this calibre.
For more on The Lord Inquisitor go here.