‘The Professionals’ Film Adaptation Moving Ahead Without Marshall
We sort of don’t get the fanboy approval handed over to Neil Marshall. He made one (overraetd) horror movie, “The Descent,” and from there he immediately graduated into celebrated ranks of genre directors. But he hasn’t done much since to deserve the praise. “Doomsday” and “Centurion” were both muddled messes, but that said, the director was recently courted for “Pride And Prejudice And Zombies.” He didn’t land the gig, but not to worry, he’s got more than few options on his plate and he’s recently revealed he’s got a brand new script in the pipeline.
Speaking with Live For Films at the Jameson Empire Awards, Marshall revealed that he’s currently chasing a number of different projects, but that he’s writing one too. What is it? “…it’s a World War II alien invasion movie,” he said, however it should be noted, it’s no guarantee it will be his next film.
Marshall will be producing Axelle Carolyn’s “The Haunted” a little later this year, and as the helmer himself mentioned, his name has been linked to a number of films in the past while. There’s foodie horror pic “Underground“; his people-spontaneously-combusting movie “Burst“; and he’s also flirted with “Dune” and “Predators” at various points. But it appears another project linked to the director last year is now moving on without him.
Variety reports that “The Professionals,” a big screen take on the Brit cop drama, has been picked up by Lionsgate UK with plans to film later this year but no mention of Marshall’s name. The show, which aired from 1977 to 1983, followed an ex-cop and an ex-soldier in a secret law enforcement division called CI5, who use unconventional, sometimes illegal means to fight crimes that can’t be handled by the police. It’s been described as a bit of a British “Starsky & Hutch.” But given the producers behind the pic, this is getting a major revamp. As Deadline added, Tom Hardy, Gerard Butler, Jason Statham, Liam Neeson and Gary Oldman are being sought for roles in the film.
As for the WWII alien invasion flick…well, it’s certainly original. But our faith in Marshall turning it into anything other than a period pic with tired genre cliches is pretty low so we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.