General Zod and Professor Bloom are suiting up for ULTRAMARINES!
Published at: March 10, 2010, 7:55 a.m. CST by merrick
Hola all. Massawyrm here.
To many of you this is going to seem positively foreign; but to those of you Warhammer 40,000 players out there, it’s gigantic news. Several months back, GAMES WORKSHOP revealed that they were working on a direct to video CG adaptation of their 40K universe titled ULTRAMARINES. In true GAMES WORKSHOP style, they’ve been holding a tight grip on any and all information. And while that might work fine in the realm of tabletop gaming, it’s a terrible way to promote a movie. How tight have they held the reins on this one? After announcing the film (long in production) in November, they’ve only now gotten around to telling us who’s even in it.
I’ve gotten a lot of mail about this one, both from inside the production and out, asking why I haven’t been writing about this. To be honest, this is the first bit of news that has REALLY excited me about the project, let alone that I thought would be interesting to non-Warhammer fans. Thus far all the news has been releases of concept art of things like Bolters, Heavy Bolters and Land Speeders – in other words, concept art of things I can reach miniatures of from where I sit most of my day. WHOO! (spins beanie) But the latest casting news? This is cool. So here’s a rundown of everything we know.
-The movie is entirely motion capture CG and will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD – though there is apparently hope for some sort of theatrical run. To those within the production, might I suggest considering a festival run? They’re looking late year – possibly October/November – which puts it smack dab in the middle of the world’s best genre and animation film fests. Fantasia, Sitges, Fantastic Fest. Good place to start guys.
-The film will center around the ULTRAMARINES, most likely the 2nd Company. The Ultra’s are the premiere group of Space Marines – 8 foot tall, genetically modified bad asses who wear power suits powered by small nuclear generators while carrying machine guns that fire explosive rounds of ammunition that can split a man in half. They're bad hombres.
-No word on who they’ll be up against, although I’m hearing from a couple different places that the film is going to be smaller in scope than some might be theorizing. I’m guessing (and this is ENTIRELY a wild ass guess) that this might be about a squad of Ultramarines trapped on Macragge during the Tyranid invasion. Although I’d love to be wrong about that. Too much like Starship Troopers and not enough like this:
-Signed to play major parts are Terence (General Zod) Stamp, John Hurt (ALIEN, HELLBOY, HARRY POTTER) AND Sean Pertwee (DOG SOLDIERS, EQUALIBRIUM, DOOMSDAY) as well as a handful of lesser known actors (all brits) such as Donald Sumpter, Johnny Harris, Ben Bishop, Christopher Finney and Gary Martin. I don’t know about you, but I could listen to Stamp and Hurt read TWILIGHT aloud to one another all day while taking breaks to clear their throat with technical manuals, so this bodes very well. Here’s the cast sharing anecdotes about Warhammer and getting the gig.
-The film is directed by a first time feature director Martyn Pick from a script by 40K Novelist Dan Abnet. Warhammer fans were pretty happy about Abnet being aboard, although I don’t join their enthusiasm. Abnet is pretty much the reigning king of fluff (backstory) when it comes to the Space Marines, and a solid writer - but novelists don’t often make a perfect transition to screenwriting. I have my fingers crossed here that Abnet nails the pacing and structure of a film, but kind of wish they’d brought in a seasoned screenwriter to co-write with Abnet. One thing is for sure: good or bad, they’ll be Space Marines.
I’m finally stoked for this. You?
Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em.