Neil Marshall (born 25 May 1970) is an English film director, editor and screenwriter. Marshall began his career in editing and in 2002 directed his first feature film Dog Soldiers, a horror-comedy film which became a cult film. He followed up with the critically acclaimed horror film The Descent in 2005. Marshall also directed Doomsday in 2008, and wrote and directed Centurion in 2010.
Life and career
Marshall was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. He was first inspired to become a film director when he saw Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) at the age of eleven. He began making home movies using Super 8 mm film, and in 1989, he attended film school at Newcastle Polytechnic (now Northumbria University). In the next eight years, he worked as a freelance film editor. In 1995, he was hired to co-write and edit for director Bharat Nalluri's first film, Killing Time. Marshall continued to write and develop his own projects, directing his first film in 2002, Dog Soldiers, a horror film that became a cult film in the United Kingdom and the United States. In 2005, he followed up with a second horror film, The Descent. With his direction of The Descent, he was identified as a member of the Splat Pack.
His next film, Doomsday, is a 2008 science fiction action film he wrote and directed. The film takes place in the future in Scotland, which has been quarantined because of a deadly virus. When the virus is found in London, political leaders send a team led by Major Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) to Scotland to find a possible cure. Sinclair's team runs into two types of survivors: marauders and medieval knights. Doomsday was conceived by Marshall based on the idea of futuristic soldiers facing medieval knights. In producing the film, he drew inspiration from various movies, including Mad Max, Escape from New York and 28 Days Later. Marshall had a budget three times the size of his previous two films. The director filmed the larger-scale Doomsday in Scotland and South Africa. The film was released on 14 March 2008 in the United States and Canada and in the United Kingdom on 9 May 2008. Doomsday did not perform well at the box office, and critics gave the film mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 49% of critics gave the film positive write-ups, based on a sample of 69, with an average score of 5.1/10. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 51, based on 14 reviews. In February 2015 Marshall and his agent Marc Helwig founded the television production company Applebox Entertainment and signed with this company, a two year deal with Legendary TV to form his Film dreams.
Marshall won the British Independent Film Award for "Best Director of a British Independent Film" for The Descent. The horror film also won a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film. For his work on the Game of Thrones episode "The Watchers on the Wall", he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.
- Outpost is a planned film that Neil Marshall announced before starting The Descent. He described the premise to be zombies terrorising an oil rig, but he placed the film on hold for the time being.
- The Eagle's Nest is a planned film that Marshall described as a World War II action-adventure that would be a hybrid of Die Hard (1988) and The Remains of the Day (1993). He said the film was an action adventure tribute to films like Where Eagles Dare (1968) and The Eagle Has Landed (1976). The premise would be about a rescue attempt for a parachutist, Rudolf Hess, who lands in Scotland during World WarÂ II. The rescue is botched, and Hess is taken by a German unit to a country castle. He also said "It's a little bit of Where Eagles Dare, Indiana Jones, James Bond and its kind of an espionage story set during WWII but it is not really a war movie as such it's a full on action-adventure."
- The Sword and the Fury is a planned film about a heist that takes place in medieval times. The story takes place 30 years after the death of King Arthur when his sword Excalibur is stolen. Arthur's queen Guinevere hires a band of thieves to steal it back.
- Sacrilege is a planned film that takes place in the Old West. Marshall described the film, "It is set during the Gold Rush, a time remembered for incidents like the Donner Party. It is meant to be a pitch-black, gritty, period horror movie." The film will be themed on paranoia and isolation, and the director will draw inspiration from the 1982 film The Thing. "This is Unforgiven by way of H.P. Lovecraft, with that grim, gritty setting and a horror element nobody has seen before," Marshall said.
- Burst 3D is a horror thriller film, first announced in October 2009, that Neil Marshall plans to direct. The film, based on a screenplay by Gary Dauberman, would follow travellers stranded in a blizzard and being attacked by an entity that makes them spontaneously combust. Sam Raimi produced with his company Ghost House Pictures.
- Neil Marshall at the Internet Movie Database
- Harbinger Of Doom interview Future Movies