Neil Marshall may have made a seamless transition into one of the most reliable pairs of hands that any big budget TV show could hire to direct an episode or two having helmed memorable installments of Game of Thrones, Black Sails, Hannibal and Westworld, but he’s yet to recapture the momentum of his early feature film career.
Dog Soldiers and The Descent appeared to herald the arrival of the horror genre’s latest rising star, but things have stagnated since then. Doomsday and Centurion scored lukewarm reviews and underwhelming box office numbers, while the ill-judged Hellboy reboot was a critical and commercial disaster. However, Marshall will be looking to put those disappointments behind him, and he’s got a pair of hugely exciting movies lined up.
The Reckoning premiered on the festival circuit last year, and stars Marshall’s co-writer and fiancé Charlotte Kirk as a widowed mother accused of witchcraft who ends up imprisoned and tortured during 1665’s Great Plague of London. Not wasting any time, the duo are set to reunite for The Lair, and in a recent interview, the filmmaker offered up a tantalizing hint of where he’s drawing his inspiration.
“The Reckoning was certainly a return to horror, but I showed a degree of restraint. With the exception of one wagon wheel scene. So I wanted to come back and do a creature feature, I wanted to do some monsters, and just kind of combine elements from Dog Soldiers and Aliens and Predator and things like that. So it’s a full-on monster movie with action and explosions and blood and guts and everything. We are just putting the financing together, with plans to shoot in May.”
The Lair follows Air Force pilot Kate Sinclair, who gets shot down over dangerous territory in Afghanistan. After taking refuge in an underground bunker, she discovers that the catacombs are home to a deadly race of half-human, half-alien creatures, before she unwittingly leads them back to a U.S. Army base, where all sorts of gory carnage will no doubt ensue. The concept sounds incredibly promising, and if it can match Neil Marshall‘s lofty ambitions and deliver the goods, then it could kickstart his cinematic rejuvenation in a major way.