A Neil Marshall film generally means a bloody good time. The English filmmaker spilled a lot of the red stuff with his feature debut, "Dog Soldiers," about a military crew (led by a young, pre–"Grey's Anatomy" Kevin McKidd) battling werewolves in the wilderness. Then came Marshall's tense, claustrophobic thriller "The Descent," which made audiences squirm by trapping a group of women inside a cave—and then unleashing deadly creatures upon them. "The Descent" brought Marshall two distinct honors. First, he was awarded the British Independent Film Award for best director of a British independent film. He was also identified as a member of the "Splat Pack"—a collection of filmmakers (including Rob Zombie and Eli Roth) known for outlandish gore and violence in their movies.
Marshall followed the critical and commercial success of "The Descent" with the post-apocalyptic thriller "Doomsday," in which murderous cannibals wreaked havoc in futuristic Scotland. But his latest film steps even further away from the horror genre. Set in 117 A.D., "Centurion" explores the legend of the Ninth Legion—more than 4,000 soldiers who disappeared when they marched into Scotland. In Marshall's telling, the soldiers are attacked by a savage band of warriors called the Picts A few survivors, led by Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender of "Inglourious Basterds") struggle to reach safety while pursued by a mute and vengeful Pict huntress ("Quantum of Solace" Bond girl Olga Kurylenko). Marshall recently chatted with Back Stage about his previous movies, getting respect for the horror genre, and casting calls. .......
Back Stage : You have a great eye for talent, starting with Kevin McKidd in "Dog Soldiers." How did you find him?
Marshall: Well, I knew him from "Trainspotting," but had I just seen "Trainspotting," I never would've cast him, because he just seemed, from that film, so wrong. But a casting director persuaded me to meet him. He was very, very different in person, when he first walked in, with his hair kind of cut short and he'd filled out a bit and looked so much more the part, and he's got that great scar between his eyes, which adds to the character. But he's a phenomenal actor. He's so natural with it. So I was very, very lucky getting him and the rest of the cast of "Dog Soldiers." It was that mix of having people like Sean Pertwee and Liam Cunningham, who were experienced, and people who'd never been in front of a camera before but were really, really hungry, and that showed, and everybody just upped their game and had a great time making it.
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screencaps thanks to Oldounce
thanks to Shylin