“Eisenhorn: The Movie — Coming soon to a theater near you!”
Okay, okay, so maybe that thought popped into my head after one too many Newcastles. But imagine it: Eisenhorn on the big screen. That would be brilliance in a bottle, especially for those of us in the Warhammer 40K know.
It’s got me thinking about who should be cast in the lead role if such a cosmically fortuitous Hollywood undertaking would ever begin.
Taking into consideration the epic awesomeness of such a role as Gregor Eisenhorn, one would have to assume that candidates worth their salt would be lined up around the block to audition. The trick, as Casting Director, is to identify the key character attributes of our once and future Inquisitor and find the actor that best matches. First and foremost among the attributes would have to be an air of seriousness (like a chainsword through one’s sternum), followed closely by a dark underlying charisma, and, last but not least, certain believability when it comes to pounding the heretical baddies. While I can see Rowan Atkinson (channeling his Black Adder persona) wonderfully portraying the character of Commissar Caiphus Cain, he wouldn’t work here.
So, here’s my short list of present day, still breathing, middle-aged headlining actors that might fit the bill (in no particular order):
- George Clooney – (Ack!?!, you say?) Clooney, now in his blue phase, is an accomplished and charismatic actor, perhaps a bit too charismatic and accomplished, but he has shown he can tone it down a bit as of late (The American, 2010). Also, he has pulled off the credible military action role in the past (The Peacemaker, 1997), but perhaps we’re flirting with disaster with this pick.
- Jason Statham. – This might be an acting stretch but he has that dark, ugly, charismatic look that would fit the part. Note that Eisenhorn isn’t always taking down the epic enemies of the Emperor through brawn and well choreographed moves, so I think we’d likely view Statham as expendable in this role.
- Liam Neeson – He did a creditable job in Taken in 2008 (I’ll ignore 2010’s The A-Team) and has the acting skills and intensity one would want for this role.
- Paul Gross – If he can do Shakespeare, he can do Abnett. Gross is a gifted Canadian — sorry, by law I must mention that — actor who has played military roles and more traditional roles such as Hamlet. He’s long on dark, moody charisma, but as with Clooney, maybe too long on the Charisma. Still this would be my dark horse choice.
- Daniel Craig – Craig has played darker protagonist action roles with the latest James Bond Films as evidence and has also played darker military action roles (Defiance 2008). But for some reason he seems either too polished or maybe too right, or maybe just too expensive for this movie. This leads me to my last and best shot at finding an Eisenhorn…
- Sean Bean – Bean may be our soldier of fortune. Considering him (unfairly, no doubt) as the poor man’s version of Daniel Craig and Jason Statham rolled into one (nice recipe, you say), he would be a great fit for our award-winning Warhammer 40K adaptation. He’s got the right amount of scruff, charisma, and no nonsense toughness. There’s that and he has a strong back-ground in action and military roles (Sharpe’s Rifles being my favorite). His star is on the rise so we better get off our duffs and sign him fast to a 3 movie deal (sort of like Lord of the Rings, only more epic) and then sit back and enjoy.
It’s time for another round. Cheers!