Neil Marshall

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For the AFL player, see Neil Marshall (footballer).
Neil Marshall
Neil Marshall 2006.JPG
Neil Marshall promoting The Descent at Comic Con 2006
Born (1970-05-25) 25 May 1970 (age 45)
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Occupation Film director and screenwriter
Spouse(s) Axelle Carolyn (2007 – present)

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 [1] 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[edit]

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,[2] 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.[3] With his direction of The Descent, he was identified as a member of the Splat Pack.[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. 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 normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 51, based on 14 reviews.[6] In February 2015 Marshall and his agent Marc Helwig founded the television production company Applebox Entertainment[7] and signed with this company, a two year deal with Legendary TV to form his Film dreams.[8]


Marshall won the British Independent Film Award for "Best Director of a British Independent Film" for The Descent.[3] The horror film also won a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film.[9] 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.


Year Film Credit Notes
1998 Killing Time Writer, editor Co-wrote with Caspar Berry and Fleur Costello
2002 Dog Soldiers Director, writer, editor
2005 The Descent Director, writer Won British Independent Film Award for Best Director of a British Independent Film and won Saturn Award for Best Horror Film
2008 Doomsday Director, writer, editor
2009 The Descent Part 2 Executive producer
2010 Centurion Director, writer
2012, 2014 Game of Thrones Director 2 episodes: "Blackwater",[10] and "The Watchers on the Wall"
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
2014 Black Sails Director 2 episodes: "I." and "III."[11]
2014 Constantine Director 2 episodes: "Non Est Asylum" and "Rage of Caliban"
2015 Hannibal Director Episode: "The Great Red Dragon"[12]
2015 The Last Voyage of the Demeter[13] Director, writer
2015 Troll Hunter[14] Director, writer
2015 Hellfest Director, writer

Future projects[edit]

  • Outpost is a planned film that Neil Marshall announced before starting The Descent. He described the premise to be zombies terrorising an oil rig,[15] but he placed the film on hold for the time being.[16]
  • 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).[17] 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 War II. The rescue is botched, and Hess is taken by a German unit to a country castle.[16] 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."[18]
  • 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.[16]
  • 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.[19]
  • Burst 3D is a horror thriller film, first announced in October 2009, that Neil Marshall plans to direct.[20] 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.[21]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Muller, Bill (4 August 2006). "Director rises to 'Descent'". The Arizona Republic. 
  3. ^ a b "Neil Marshall". British Independent Film Awards. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  4. ^ Keegan, Rebecca Winters (22 October 2006). "The Splat Pack". Time. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  5. ^ "Doomsday Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Archived from the original on 24 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  6. ^ "Doomsday (2008): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  7. ^ "Neil Marshall and his longtime agent Marc Helwig have formed a TV/film production company, Applebox Entertainment". Dread Central. DC. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  8. ^ "Neil Marshall & Marc Helwig Launch Production Company, Sign Deal With Legendary Television". Deadline. DC. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  9. ^ "Past Saturn Awards". Saturn Awards. Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  10. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (12 September 2011). "'Game of Thrones': Neil Marshall Among Season 2 Directors". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Neil Marshall Directing Pilot for Starz' Treasure Island Prequel Series, Black Sails". Screenrant. 
  12. ^ Fuller, Bryan (March 22, 2015). "EP 8 "THE GREAT RED DRAGON" DIRECTOR NEIL MARSHALL MADE THE BEST HORROR MOVIE OF THIS CENTURY #HannibalReturnsJune4". Twitter. Retrieved March 22, 2015. 
  13. ^ Exclusive: Neil Marshall says Troll Hunter and Last Voyage very much alive
  14. ^ Neil Marshall Talks Troll Hunter and The Last Voyage of the Demeter
  15. ^ "Exclusive: Marshall on Zombie Sex, Descent 2 and More!!". 23 July 2006. Retrieved 8 June 2007. 
  16. ^ a b c Chris Tilly (14 July 2005). "Neil Marshall to enter 'Eagle's Nest'". Time Out. Retrieved 8 June 2007. 
  17. ^ Chris Tilly (13 June 2005). "Neil Marshall returns to horror". Time Out. Retrieved 8 June 2007. 
  18. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Director Neil Marshall Talks Burst 3D, The Sword and the Fury and More!". Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  19. ^ Michael Fleming (10 March 2008). "Marshall to direct Rogue's 'Sacrilege'". Variety. Retrieved 13 March 2008. 
  20. ^ "Neil Marshall to Direct Burst 3D". 9 October 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2010. 
  21. ^ "Neil Marshall Offers Update on Burst 3D". Dread Central. 29 June 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 

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