1



Neil Marshall

  • English director
  • Born May 25, 1970

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. He has also directed two prominent episodes of US television series Game of Thrones: "Blackwater" and "The Watchers on the Wall", with particular acclaim for his direction on both occasions, as well as a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for "The Watchers on the Wall".


With the exception of 'Descent,' that was a very conscious thing to make an action or horror movie that was an all-female cast because I hadn't seen anything like that before.




One episode of 'Game of Thrones' is equivalent to my film 'Centurion' in budget and scope. 'Centurion' has a longer running time, but that's kind of the only difference, and I think people now, if they want drama, they watch TV.




'Raiders of the Lost Ark' made me want to make films. I am wild about the films of John Carpenter, Ridley Scott, Howard Hawks and Sam Peckinpah.




I see myself more as an action director. All right, I do enjoy intense, bloodthirsty action but I like to blend and cross genres. I don't want to be too predictable.




I was a film editor for eight years before I made my first feature, 'Dog Soldiers.' I am from Newcastle upon Tyne, in the northeast of England.




I'm quite interested in adapting some of James Herbert's early work. 'The Dark'... But I was always desperate to do an adaptation of 'War of the Worlds' until the Beard stole it from underneath my feet.




I got plenty of grief for 'Blackwater,' because in the books, there's this huge chain across the harbor that features prominently in the battle. And we simply weren't able to do it with our budget and do it any justice, so we had to lose it.




I enjoy scaring people too much to let it go!




There's a real kind of snobbery in the U.K. about horror films.




I don't really have a life outside of movies. But I like to climb mountains and walk the dogs. I like fine wines and good restaurants.




I love CG - it's a great tool. I just don't think you should use it to replace reality; you should use it to augment and enhance. Do matte paintings, do composites, do replications, stuff like that, but you're taking something real and working with that as opposed to trying to fake it from scratch. The human brain can tell the difference.




The guys on 'Game of Thrones' trust me implicitly to take care of the action stuff. I don't mess with their drama, but they allow me to come up with ideas like 'Hey, what if the giant had a bow? And what if he shot some guy off the wall?' With 'Constantine,' too, they really trust me to scare the audience.




Shooting against greenscreen... my choice of filming is, like, I'd rather shoot on location than shoot on a set, and I'd rather shoot on a set than shoot against greenscreen. You start stripping away the layers of reality, and it becomes a lot less fun to actually film.




I think I'd like to do a big movie with a strong female lead, whether or not she would be a superhero. I'm more interested in characters like Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy.' I'm less interested in people with superpowers because I can't identify with them.




My dad's a history buff, and I spent a lot of time on Hadrian's Wall. I became fascinated by the idea of what was so terrifying up there that the Romans built a 60-mile long, 30-ft-high stone wall to keep it out.




My belief is that if you start a film all the way up at level 10, you've got nowhere to go.




I always wanted to be a filmmaker and became one through sheer single-mindedness. I came to filmmaking from a background in graphic design. I went to film school at Newcastle Polytechnic.




Pretty much every society, every culture in the world has some version of the Arthur legend, so everybody knows it; certainly in the western world, everybody knows King Arthur, but nobody knows what happens next.




I do enjoy intense, bloodthirsty action, but I like to blend and cross genres. I don't want to be too predictable.




Roman history was kind of unavoidable where I was growing up. It was everywhere - all the place names and ruins and forts. My dad's a history buff, and I spent a lot of time on Hadrian's Wall. I became fascinated by the idea of what was so terrifying up there that the Romans built a 60-mile long, 30ft high stone wall to keep it out?




The score I always have on heavy repeat is 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark!'




So much of 'Doomsday' is taken from the early 'Mad Max' films.




I don't think they're gratuitous with the nudity on 'Game of Thrones.' It's very much part of the world. There's a lot of it, but that's the world they come from. It never is there to distract from the scene or the actors or story.




I thought 'Dead Man's Shoes' was a masterpiece.




I set out to do a horror film with 'Dog Soldiers,' and what I came out with at the end of the day was something that was more of a cult movie, more of a black comedy with some horror elements in it. It kind of went over the top.




I would love to do a Black Widow movie. That's perfect, I would love to do that. That character is really interesting: she doesn't have any superpowers; she just has extraordinary skills, and the world that she comes from, being this ex-K.G.B. assassin, I find that really fascinating, yeah.



1