Amazon has struck a deal with street gaming chain Games Workshop to create a series based on its hit Warhammer franchise, the sci-fi fantasy miniature wargame, potentially starring former Superman star Henry Cavill.
London-listed Games Workshop, which has a market value of £2.7bn and operates around 530 stores, has struck a deal with Amazon to develop the company’s intellectual property into film and TV productions as well as to sell goods.
Games Workshop said the first rights to be developed will be for the Warhammer 40,000 franchise, which was made into a computer-animated film in 2010.
On Friday, it emerged that Henry Cavill, who won’t be returning in future Superman films as he had planned, has been linked with a starring role in the new series. The British actor is said to be a huge Warhammer 40,000 fan, hand painting miniature miniatures himself.
“Games Workshop is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement in principle for Amazon to develop Games Workshop’s intellectual property in film and television productions and for Games Workshop to grant associated merchandising rights to Amazon.” said the company.
“Although the parties have reached agreement on important commercial terms, the project is entirely dependent on and subject to agreed and concluded contracts, which the parties are working on.”
Despite signing the potentially hugely lucrative deal, Games Workshop, started more than 40 years ago by three school friends, did not raise its financial forecast for the year until the end of May.
Amazon continues to spend billions each year to create content for its Prime Video streaming service, a key part of its strategy to entice customers to sign up for its monthly subscription services, including more than $500 million (£411m) so far on the Lord of the Rings prequel The Rings of Power.
“Partnering with Amazon to produce TV shows and movies associated with the Warhammer universe is potentially huge for Games Workshop,” said Russ Mould, chief investment officer at AJ Bell. “Much of the excitement around the stock in recent years has been built around the licensing opportunities associated with intellectual property from Games Workshop, which has a large and very loyal fan base. There have been modest efforts in the past to bring Games Workshop creations to the screen. Amazon’s deep pockets and huge reach put this in a different stratosphere.
Shares of Games Workshop soared 15% on Friday, making it the biggest gainer on the FTSE 250, as investors cheered the prospect of increased long-term earnings from the relationship with Amazon.