Can 40k ever become popular beyond the tabletop, novels & games? - Wargaming Forum and Wargamer Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-19-15, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
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Default Can 40k ever become popular beyond the tabletop, novels & games?

Hello everyone, this is my first post on this forum that I have frequently lurked around for quite some time. I'm a huge 40k aficionado among other Sci-Fi series & franchises (big fan of the Thousand Sons/Tzeentch & very interested in the Emperor's Children/Slaanesh).

Anyway I've been thinking recently if any fellow 40k fans believe 40k could essentially become more popular beyond the tabletop as well as the Black Library books. I'm very aware that itself will probably never become as ingrained in pop culture as Star Wars (for example) for a number of reasons (one being the grimdark nature of the series), however what if Games Workshop were to find other avenues of promoting the 40k lore (not the tabletop) so that more people can become fans of the 40k universe & be more engaged in the lore overall. Maybe a tv show on HBO or Showtime perhaps that was either an anthology series where each season chronicled the adventures of different characters/races in the 40k universe.

I'm aware that a film franchise is unlikely as it would potentially cost a billion dollars more or less, however maybe a tv show & a comic series could help 40k branch out beyond the tabletop, books & games perhaps? I know GW licensed 40k to Boom! studios a few years ago, however it seemed short-lived to say the least.

Anyway I hope I don't get flamed as I didn't see this topic anywhere in the search results. I'd like to get other's thoughts on this topic as I'm very passionate about the 40k lore/universe. My sincerest apologies if this was the wrong sub-forum to place a topic such as this.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-19-15, 02:11 AM
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It depends on what you mean by "beyond"? Like what scope are we talking here.

Dawn of War and Space Marine did a lot to bring 40k to the video game community. But as for as book and film does, in its present state, not a change. 40k reads like a History channel documentary which the mainstream audience finds boring as hell. 40k does have movies: Damnitus and Ultramarines with quite plainly suck. I would love to see The Battle of Macragge done with the budget of Transformers, but in order for that so change there has to be A LOT of rewriting to be even consumable to a wider audience. So 40k references becoming as wide as Starwars or Star Trek, not achance in hell.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-19-15, 08:54 AM
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I think a television series following the adventures of an Inquisitor and his or her scouring the Imperium for heresy, aliens, and mutants would be good. Something like the Eisenhorn series.

Not everyone is in the military. Not everything revolves around combat. I think this would be the best shot at getting some more mainstream attention without delving into unknown fluff territory (aka, making stuff up to satisfy the general population), yet at the same time appeasing fluff readers like us.

I don't think a super grim-dark series would work. Then again, dumbing it down to where all the heroes get to live every day even though 99% of their comrades manage to stop a bullet somewhere in the movie/episode seems a bit... ungenuine for the setting (not that it doesn't happen, but I'm still sad when it does in BL).

Once mainstream appeal is reached, then niche stuff (following aliens, an Imperial Guard regiment, etc.) can be met. More people might be willing to take the dive and check out the rest of the universe when they realize the pool isn't as cold as they initially thought.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-19-15, 08:29 PM
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The problem with 40k in a video format is that it's wonky. There's just too much under the hood, and things don't make sense without explanation. In a novel, a paragraph can be used to catch up the audience. But in a movie format, you'd need a horrendous amount of voice-over

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-19-15, 10:35 PM
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But in a movie format, you'd need a horrendous amount of voice-over
I don't think so. Most things are pretty self-evident, I think. Like you can see a tech adept and go "Whoa, this guy probably loves machines because he's more machine than man now".

Other little things aren't super important to know. If someone gets shot up with frenzon, for example, the movie wouldn't have to tell us what frenzon is and how it works. Just have a chemical injector show and the guy go nuts and murder things.

The only tricky thing you'd have, I think, would be the political institutions, some of the Xeno culture (but you can gloss over that), and maybe the nature of psychic powers and the warp.

Getting all the nuanced information in a movie is hard, but getting the point across probably not so much.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-19-15, 11:48 PM
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I'm not sure to be honest - I don't think it would work as a movie, but as a TV series? I'm sure it would. It would require a big budget though, to capture the feeling and grandness of it all. I'm talking Game of Thrones big and they don't even show the big fights, due to constraints.

If done right you could tell much of the lore through the episodes there and then top it off with a movie in the end or the like. They would not be able to do the Horus Heresy due to the grandness of it, but I believe they could make some story archs and stand-alone filler episodes in the 41st millenium, leaving the Horus Heresy as a tale of old times.

Will it happen? Most likely not as it's too big of a gamle.
Could it be fun to watch the 41st millenium on the big screen? Hell yes.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-20-15, 07:35 AM
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So first, could it work as a movie or tv show? Yes, certainly.

The nearest comparison is the Halo universe. 40K's setting is deeper, wider, and weirder but is still essentially a story about humans in space. So think about the parallels enhanced humans fighting evil aliens and unknowable menaces. Halo has books, video games, table top games, a cartoon series, a tv miniseries (nightfall), and movie (Forward Unto Dawn.) Halo is basically an extrapolation of genesis, so is warhammer.

Ultimately, the devil would be in the details. Let's say GW partners with HBO after game of thrones finished. It would need a plot and interesting or relatable characters. As it has been mentioned, the really tough part would be explaining the depth of the background and working with all the inconsistencies. For example, there is futuristic space travel but spaceships look like cathedrals and the weapons are strangely primitive. Electronics and communications technology seem to lag far behind what we are using today. Advanced technology doesn't jive with massive ignorance and lack of information. The fact that information we would consider fodder for Google is secret, etc. seems inconsistent and damages suspension of disbelief.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-20-15, 07:52 AM
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I think a small exposition at the beginning (think of the beginning of BL novels) set in a Starwars New Hope sort of thing could help. Just a paragraph to explain mankind's constant struggle against the alien, mutant, and heretic. How technology has slid into mystery and religion...that ought to be good enough.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-21-15, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hailene View Post
I think a small exposition at the beginning (think of the beginning of BL novels) set in a Starwars New Hope sort of thing could help. Just a paragraph to explain mankind's constant struggle against the alien, mutant, and heretic. How technology has slid into mystery and religion...that ought to be good enough.
Not a paragraph... Have you ever seen the Youtube series CinamaSins? "Oh boy, reading". No one goes to watch a movie to read, and I bet you haven't even read the essay at the beginning of Starwars. And if you have to read the paragraph to know what's going on it's going to fail.

Exposition should be done like the beginning of Transformers where you show and tell though images and narration.... "Assume this is real, here's the story."
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-21-15, 09:21 AM
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I weep for the nation, but I concede people won't like it.

Yeah, just a few scenes of narration ought to do the trick. About the same amount of time, easier viewability, and gets the point across.
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