Posted on Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
Neil Marshall (The Descent, Centurion) has been linked to quite a few projects over the past few months. (Culinary horror Underground, the spontaneous combustion movie Burst, and more.) Now it looks like he’s no longer part of one development project, The Professionals, even as the director says he’s writing an alien invasion film set in WWII.
Of the latter project, we have only one brief quote from Live For Films, to which Mr. Marshall said that he’s writing a script, and “…it’s a World War II alien invasion movie.” When will we see it? Will we see it at all? Questions without answers now, but that sort of thing is certainly in the wheelhouse of the man who made Dog Soldiers and Doomsday, in addition to the two films cited above. And for the moment films like this seem like easier sells than some others, so if he can pull the script together maybe it can move to the front of the line.
Meanwhile, Variety and Deadline update on the progress of developing a film based on the UK TV series The Professionals, a project to which Neil Marshall had once been attached. The Deadline report says that names like Tom Hardy, Gerard Butler, Jason Statham, Liam Neeson and Gary Oldman are all mentioned for key roles — of course they are, being some of the most popular actors from the UK. (And consequently also some of the busiest; I wouldn’t expect to see more than one or two of those names end up in the film, if even that many.) But there is no mention of Mr. Marshall, and the suggestion is that he’s off the project — Deadline says that producers are in LA trying to get a director signed.
The site also says “this big-screen version will be an origin story, showing how ex-Spec Ops mercenary Bodie and counter-terrorism detective Doyle unite to work for covert UK security unit CI5.” If some of those actors mentioned above can be corralled for the film, we’ll definitely be paying attention, but I wouldn’t hold your breath on that casting just yet.