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".
Life and career
Marshall was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, 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. 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 normalised 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.
In May 2017 it was announced that Marshall would direct Hellboy, a reboot of the Hellboy franchise. Previously, prior to becoming director of the new Hellboy reboot, Marshall had expressed interest in doing a solo Black Widow movie for Marvel Studios.
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. Marshall 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".