The long-gestating Duncan Jones written and directed Rogue Trooper movie had its first major news drop in years – naming its cast, updating the status of the project and that it will in fact be CGI-animated with completion expected in 2025. The news came via a Variety article on Monday morning.

Rogue Trooper, created by writer Gerry Finley-Day and Dave Gibbons, is one of the standout classic characters in the treasure trove anthology that is Britain’s 2000 AD. Loosely inspired by World War One and the war in Vietnam, the character debuted in 1981’s Prog 228 and was an instant hit – featuring a genetically modified super soldier on a blighted war-torn planet who is on a quest of vengeance to find the one that betrayed his platoon, joined only by the personalities of his comrades stored on computer chips embedded in his helmet, gun and backpack. A beloved character, he made a recent return to the pages of 2000 AD last year in the acclaimed Blighty Valley – a special tale by Garth Ennis and Patrick Goddard, due to be published as a collection in July 2024.

Rogue Trooper’s first appearance back in 1981

The Rogue Trooper movie was first announced way back in 2018 but little was known about it other than it was to be written and directed by Duncan Jones – best known for Moon (2009), Source Code (2011) and Warcraft: The Beginning (2016). Little info had been released since and it had begun to be assumed that the film was either in development hell or to eventually be quietly dropped. Until today.

As Variety reported in an exclusive,

Aneurin Barnard, Hayley Atwell and Jack Lowden lead the cast of science fiction movie Rogue Trooper, written and directed by Duncan Jones…

“The animated film, which is being created with Epic’s 3D tool Unreal Engine 5, was adapted by Jones from the comic book published by 2000 AD, home to Judge Dredd, Halo Jones and Sláine. Rogue Trooper, produced by Rebellion and Liberty Films, has wrapped principal photography at Rebellion Film Studios in the U.K. The film is set to be finished next year.”

Aneurin Barnard will be playing the main character, the eponymous Rogue Trooper, who in the film will be referred to as ‘19’.

In a Twitter/X post, Jones announced who would play (or should we say ‘voice’?) the Rogue Trooper’s bodiless comrades:

  • Jack Lowden will be Gunner
  • Daryl McCormack will be Helm
  • Reece Shearsmith will be Bagman

We still do not know who Hayley Atwell will play nor Jermaine Clement, Matt Berry, Diane Morgan, Alice Lowe, Asa Butterfield, or Sean Bean – they could be anything from other Genetic Infantrymen, members of either of the two warring armies, scientists, or something else entirely. And someone – of course – will be the mysterious traitor general that Rogue/19 will hunt down.

The Rogue Trooper movie is a coproduction between Duncan Jones and Stuart Fenegan’s Liberty Films, and 2000 AD publisher Rebellion with principal filming taking place at Rebellion’s specially built film studios in the British county of Oxfordshire.

Rogue trooper
Rogue Trooper movie promotional image

Duncan Jones said,

2000 AD offers a very different flavor of comic action: Political and brutal at times, but always with a Pythonesque twinkle in the eye. Dredd (2012) was a taste of what 2000 AD has to offer and now we get to show the world another side of the beast. It is a genuine privilege to be given the opportunity to make Rogue Trooper.

Rebellion CEO and producer Jason Kingsley added,

“We are thrilled to be working with Duncan Jones, who is a fellow British creative visionary and 2000 AD fan with global reach. Rogue Trooper highlights Rebellion’s leading position within the entertainment industries. It has been filmed at our dedicated Oxfordshire film studios and combines beautiful storytelling from our iconic 2000 AD comic book universe with animation and production technology from the video game industry. We cannot wait for everyone to see these incredible stories bought to life on screen.”

The movie will be animated by Treehouse Digital, a Dorset, UK, based production company that uses Unreal Engine 5 to develop animated features. Its previous experience was short films The Well (2021), Treaters (2017), and Litterbugs (2016). The Well was their first experiment with using Unreal Engine to produce an animated feature which has had positive buzz on the film festival circuit and encourage them to pursue further.

Producer Stuart Fenegan said:

“The advancements in Unreal Engine 5 and the inclusion of MetaHuman rigs mean that it is now possible to achieve a very high standard of animation within an indie budget. Working with our amazing partners at Rebellion, Epic and Treehouse Digital we are pioneering and developing a new creative pipeline that will enable independent production of CG animated films.”

Epic’s Unreal Engine has been a powerful tool in the videogame space used not just for elaborate and immersive interactive worlds but filmic cutscenes. You only have to look at the likes of Ninja Theory’s stunning Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (2017) built on Unreal Engine 4 (with its sequel Senua’s Saga expected later this year) to see the possibilities. In more recent years it has become a part of the development toolkit for movie and TV post production and CGI houses – having been used in the likes of The Mandalorian (2019-present), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), War of the Planet of the Apes (2017) and more.


  1. 2000AD has so many great stories and IP. I’m certainly not disappointed to get a Rogue Trooper thing but I would love to see development of stories that weren’t from the first few years of 2000AD.

Comments are closed.