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Casting the Eisenhorn Movie

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!

40 Comments on Casting the Eisenhorn Movie

  1. Clooney is a moonbat asshole who I don’t watch since his crack about Charlton Heston.



  2. What about Ben Kingsly?  While I like Sean Bean, I just don’t see him as Eisenhorn.

  3. Statham…no, just NO.

  4. I’ve always pictured Jason Statham as Gregor Eisenhorn.

  5. Erik Madsen // September 17, 2010 at 2:19 am //

    I would love to se Liam Neeson as Eisenhorn.

  6. James.Blackwell // September 17, 2010 at 2:21 am //

    Have to disagree with all of those, Has to be Russell Crow or Cristian Bale, Dark Forboding, not un-used to wearing costumes, good with the ladies, and attitude.

  7. Stuart Mangold // September 17, 2010 at 2:25 am //

    yeah got to go with Jason Stathem for Eiesnhorn, and the man can act (watch snatch) when given the chance and can you imagine him talking with Cherubael?

  8. I don’t think Sean Bean would make a very good Eisenhorn… though after seeing the Shapre series he would make a brilliant Ibram Gaunt.

  9. *sharpe… (damn new fingers)

  10. Nik Vincent // September 17, 2010 at 3:01 am //

    Funnily enough, Dan and I were only discussing this the other day. We were thinking British, for obvious reasons, and, not sure whether this thought is influenced by the fact that we’ve been watching a lot of “Waking the Dead” recently, but we were really admiring Trevor Eve’s gravitas. (We cast Spencer Jordan played by Will Johnson as Dexter from Sinister Dexter, while we were at it, opposite Rhys Ifans or Paul Bettany as Sinister). Go figure.

  11. Keith dykes // September 17, 2010 at 3:06 am //

    I think its Bloody obvious that eisenhorn should be played by Hugo Weaveing! he looks simular to the cover and he has a great dead pan face.

    All the others above dont quite have the look or character to pull it off, as for Christian Bale… no just no

  12. Personally?

    Mark Wahlberg.

    I know a lot of peoople don’t rate it, but I think he did a good job protraying GrimDark in Max Payne, and he has the gravelly tone of voice that I feel would fit Eisenhorn very nicely.

  13. Kaaron Warren // September 17, 2010 at 3:21 am //

    Two votes from 12 year old boys: definitely Daniel Craig, without me even giving them the list of names! One said, “That’s the guy I picture when I’m reading it!”

  14. @Keith Dykes, I’d plump for Hugo Weaving as Pontius Glaw!

  15. It’s a tie between Patrick Stewart and Kenneth Branagh. You can’t go wrong with Branagh.

  16. Daniel Day Lewis as Gregor Eisenhorn

    Racheal Weisz as Alizabeth Bequin

    Gerard Butler as Harlon Nayl

    Rebecca Romjin as patience Kys

    Kevin Mckidd as Godwyn Fischig

    Jeremy Irons as Pontius Glaw

    John Leguiziamo as Cherubael

    so, Kara Swole and Aemos?




  17. Are we being too Anglo-centric here? A lot of sci-fi falls into the trap of having everyone sound either British or American (ignoring for a moment the conceit that they’re all speaking English!) One great thing about Farscape was that they would often cast actors from a particular background as an alien race, so they would all sound English, Australian, and in one case Russian, it did a great job of establishing them as a distinct culture.

    The Imperium is vast, encompassing human worlds of all cultures and ethnicities, Perhaps we need to look further afield for some of the characters?

  18. Sean Bean is a great mention, however I personally think he would be much more suited to Commissar Ibram Gaunt from Graunts Ghosts.

    Possibly because the series is very much inspired by Sharpe but there you go … 😛

  19. For a young Eisenhorn (before he’s old and bald), Clive Owen would be great, he even loks bit like him on the cover of the first Eisenhorn book

    Ray Stevenson would make a hard as nails Harlon Nayl

    Johnny Depp as Cherubael (NOT as a Jack Sparrow rip-off. Depp if left to his own devices would make a superb devious possessed)


  20. Ed Harris perhaps a few years back… he was great in Enemy at the gates.

  21. Recalcitrant041 // September 17, 2010 at 8:14 am //

    Clive Owen is the best Eisenhorn, if you’re starting at Xenos.  I like Max Von Sydow as Aemos, Ray Winstone as Fischig, Paul Bettany as Cherubael, we’ll need someone new for Alizabeth Bequin, and for some reason I see Armand Asante as Lord Rorken.


    I really, REALLY like Dukeleto‘s idea of Jeremy Irons for Pontius Glaw. His voice is so superbly rich and refined and very very evil.  Ooooo, goosebumps…

  22. I’ve always pictured Harvey Keitel as Eisenhorn.

  23. Not British but

    Viggo Mortensen would be immense as Eisenhorn.

    John Noble who plays Walter in Fringe is a perfect Aemos.

    If you do want British, go for Gary Oldman as Eisenhorn,maybe too old to play the younger Eisenhorn though.

    Quite like Kate Bekinsale for Kys because she looked fantastic in that black suit in Underworld so it wouldnt be a huge stretch for Patience Kys.Shes also English.

  24. I’ve gotta throw in my two bits for Gary Oldman…maybe too old now to play Eisenhorn but just on acting chops alone he could make this movie rule!

  25. Paul Bettany would make a nicely twisted Cherubael

    Tim Roth would make a nicely sinister Glaw.

    Mortensen,Noble,Bettany and Roth can all act which is more than Statham and Owen can do.

    Also Sean Bean might just about manage Gaunt. See Gaunt as more charming though.

    Prob love Gaunt more than Eisenhorn so it would have to be perfect.

  26. Got me thinking now,

    Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber,

    Fischig and Nayl,

    Think Craig would suit the more straight laced moral code of Fischig,

    Shchreiber as Nayl,

    But maybe you could swap them round.

    Both good actors too.


  27. Patrick Stewart or Hugo Weaving. None of the other names in this thread come close.

  28. Hugo Weaving i like,Patrick Stewart is a definate no.

  29. Recalcitrant041 // September 18, 2010 at 12:12 am //

    Gary Oldman as Tobias Maxilla?

  30. you can’t have Daniel Craig as Eisenhorn, he IS Gaunt!

  31. I think Stephen Moyer from True Blood Would make a great Gaunt.Is English too.

  32. smokedsalmoned // September 19, 2010 at 4:39 pm //

    Sean Bean does look and sound pretty good for Eisenhorn.   If they shot all three films together I would also go with Liam Neeson.

    Ben Kingsley is too small.  I picture Gregor as being 6+ feet tall and an imposing figure to the average man.  

    Jason Stratham is just a joke for the key role.    he might make a nice Nayl.

    Alizebeth Bequin I see as that actress from V if you want someone looking regal or instead the gal from the shameful recent star wars movies if you think she should be more girlish.


    I would be so geeked to see them pen 3 films and shoot them all at once.  Grim and glorious in the right hands. 

    Still, its likely they would have to have some other movies out to whet the appetite and indoctrinate a broader fan base before a movie such as an Eisenhorn Trilogy could be made. 

  33. Dave Thomas // September 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm //

    You’re all wrong.

    Karl Urban would be a perfect Eisenhorn.

  34. Hugo Weaving and Karl Urban are both great choices for Eisenhorn.  I hadn’t thought of them. 
    I can’t fathom Ben “Gandhi” Kingsly in the role.

    I also see Sean Bean as perfect for Ibraim Gaunt, probably better that than Eisenhorn.

  35. Thomas Jane or Daniel Day Lewis for Eisenhorn

    Daniel Craig or Sean Bean for Fischig 

  36. How about taking a slightly different root and Idris Elba, his role in The Wire showed he has the charisma and presence, then mix in the brooding anger and threat of violence from Luther.

  37. Jason Isaacs or Mark strong would make great Eisenhorn. Kurt russell woulda made a great one, but the guys oldballs  



    Ian Holm would be perfect for Aemos, I can’t think of anyone better.

    Til Shweiger for Fischig.

  38. And…Danny Devito as Commodus Voke!

  39. Only finished the second book but I thought I would get in on the fun with some picks:

    Eisenhorn: Liam Neeson

    Bequin: Kate Blanchett or Anna Torv

    Fischig: Ray Stevenson

    Aemos: John Hurt

    Cherubael: Andy Serkis

    Midas: Chiwetel Eijofor

    Medea: Naomie Harris

  40. That guy. // February 7, 2013 at 4:40 pm //

    You guys will think I’m crazy for this, but hear me out.

    Idris Elba for Eisenhorn. Watch Luther and tell me I’m wrong.

    Zhang Zi Yi for Bequin. I’m convinced she could pull it off.

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