Neil Marshall

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Neil Marshall
Neil Marshall 2006.JPG
Marshall at the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con
Born (1970-05-25) 25 May 1970 (age 53)
  • Director
  • editor
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1989–present

Neil Marshall (born 25 May 1970) is an English film and television director, editor, producer, and screenwriter. He directed the horror films Dog Soldiers (2002) and The Descent (2005), the science fiction action film Doomsday (2008), the historical war film Centurion (2010), the superhero action film Hellboy (2019), and the adventure horror film The Reckoning (2020).

Marshall has also directed numerous television series, including two episodes of the HBO fantasy drama series Game of Thrones: "Blackwater" and "The Watchers on the Wall", the latter of which earned him a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.

Early life[edit]

Marshall was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. He was 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,[1] and in 1989, he attended film school at Newcastle Polytechnic. 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.[2] With his direction of The Descent, he was identified as a member of the Splat Pack.[3] Marshall won the British Independent Film Award for Best Director,[2] and the film received the Saturn Award for Best Horror Film.[4]

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.[5]

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.[5] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 51, based on 14 reviews.[6]

Marshall went on to write and direct the 2010 historical war film Centurion, starring Michael Fassbender and Dominic West. He also wrote and directed a segment, titled "Bad Seed", of the anthology horror film Tales of Halloween, which had its world premiere on 24 July 2015 at the Fantasia International Film Festival.[7]

Marshall directed episodes of multiple television series, including Black Sails, Constantine, Hannibal, Westworld, Timeless, and Lost in Space, the lattermost two of which he also executive produced. He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for his work on the Game of Thrones episode "The Watchers on the Wall". In February 2015, Marshall and his agent Marc Helwig founded the television production company Applebox Entertainment[8] and signed with this company, a two-year deal with Legendary TV.[9]

In 2017, Marshall signed on to direct a reboot of Hellboy, released in April 2019.[10] Marshall has since disowned the film, criticizing the script and calling the job "the worst professional experience of my life." Marshall only accepted the film due to not making a feature film in nine years and also being initially intrigued by the horror pitch.[11]

He then wrote and directed the horror film The Reckoning, which was released in 2020. He created a production company, Scarlett Productions, with actress Charlotte Kirk.[12]



Year Title Director Writer Executive
Editor Notes
1998 Killing Time No Yes No Yes
2002 Dog Soldiers Yes Yes No Yes
2005 The Descent Yes Yes No No
2008 Doomsday Yes Yes No Yes
2010 Centurion Yes Yes No No
2015 Tales of Halloween Yes Yes No No Segment: "Bad Seed"
2019 Hellboy Yes No No No
2020 The Reckoning Yes Yes Yes Yes
2022 The Lair Yes Yes Yes Yes
2023 Duchess Yes Yes Yes No
TBA Compulsion Yes Yes Yes No Filming

Executive producer only


Year Title Director Executive
2012, 2014 Game of Thrones Yes No Episodes "Blackwater"[13] and "The Watchers on the Wall"
2014 Black Sails Yes No Episodes "I." and "III."[14]
Constantine Yes No Episodes "Non Est Asylum" and "Rage of Caliban"
2015 Hannibal Yes No Episode "The Great Red Dragon"[15]
2016 Poor Richard's Almanack Yes Yes Episode "Pilot"
Timeless Yes Yes Episodes "Pilot" and "The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln"
Westworld Yes No Episode "The Stray"
2018 Lost in Space Yes Yes Episodes "Impact" and "Diamonds in the Sky"


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result
2006 British Independent Film Awards Best Director The Descent Won
Saturn Awards Best Horror Film Won
2013 Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form Game of Thrones Won
2014 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Nominated
2020 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Director Hellboy Nominated


  1. ^ Muller, Bill (4 August 2006). "Director rises to 'Descent'". The Arizona Republic.
  2. ^ a b "Neil Marshall". British Independent Film Awards. Archived from the original on 21 May 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
  3. ^ Keegan, Rebecca Winters (22 October 2006). "The Splat Pack". Time. Archived from the original on 5 May 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
  4. ^ "Past Saturn Awards". Saturn Awards. Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. Archived from the original on 9 February 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
  5. ^ a b "Doomsday Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Archived from the original on 24 May 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2008.
  6. ^ "Doomsday (2008): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 30 July 2008.
  7. ^ "Tales of Halloween - Fantasia 2015". Fantasia Festival. 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Neil Marshall and his longtime agent Marc Helwig have formed a TV/film production company, Applebox Entertainment". Dread Central. DC. Retrieved 30 July 2008.
  9. ^ "Neil Marshall & Marc Helwig Launch Production Company, Sign Deal With Legendary Television". Deadline Hollywood. DC. Retrieved 30 July 2008.
  10. ^ Perry, Spencer (8 May 2017). "Neil Marshall to Direct Hellboy Reboot Starring David Harbour!". Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Hellboy (2019) - Director talks Bad Scripts and Studio Interference". YouTube. 25 March 2022. Retrieved 5 April 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "Meet Charlotte Kirk: The 28-Year-Old Actress Who Took Down Two Studio Chiefs". Variety. PMC. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  13. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (12 September 2011). "'Game of Thrones': Neil Marshall Among Season 2 Directors". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  14. ^ "Neil Marshall Directing Pilot for Starz' Treasure Island Prequel Series, Black Sails". Screenrant.
  15. ^ Fuller, Bryan (22 March 2015). "EP 8 "THE GREAT RED DRAGON" DIRECTOR NEIL MARSHALL MADE THE BEST HORROR MOVIE OF THIS CENTURY #HannibalReturnsJune4". Twitter. Retrieved 22 March 2015.

External links[edit]