Neil Marshall Back In The Saddle At Last With ‘HellFest?’

Posted on December 9, 2011 by Ben

by Ben Bussey

If there’s one filmmaker we’ve really been missing around these parts lately, it’s Neil Marshall. He’s long since been one of our favourite directors at Brutal As Hell, responsible for some of the most entertaining genre movies to come out of the 21st century thus far. Alas, since his Roman legion ass-kicker Centurion in 2009, the man can’t seem to quite get anything off the ground. For a time he was attached to direct Drive, and we all know how that wound up. Then we heard he was up for Burst 3D, for Sam Raimi’s Ghost House. After that, there was talk of cannibal movie Underground. Sadly none of these have yet come to pass. Here’s hoping, then, that this latest news proves fruitful, as Deadline reports that “Marshall is in early talks to direct Hellfest, the CBS Films horror project about a costumed killer who systematically slaughters the unsuspecting visitors who come to a theme park on Halloween night.”

Costumed killer? Theme park? Halloween? Yes please! Sure, it doesn’t sound a million miles away from Tobe Hooper’s Funhouse, or for that matter¬†the upcoming Gingerclown (whose trailer recently showed up over at CHUD), but it’s still a potentially winning combination. And as Deadline also mentions this is planned as a franchise-starter, there are definite grounds to be excited. The great thing about Marshall is that, while he wears his 70s/80s influence on his sleeve, his films still play it straight, never camping it up with excessive retro-isms the way so much neo-grindhouse does. He’s done two great monster movies, and two above-average action-adventure flicks, so there’s no reason to think he couldn’t pull off a good old fashioned slasher.

Oh – and Gale Anne Hurd’s producing. Tell me that doesn’t make your inner 80s child tingle.

If all goes to plan, Marshall will shoot Hellfest in Summer 2012, from a script by William Penick and Chris Sey. Before that,¬†there’s a Marshall-directed episode of Game of Thrones season 2 to look foward to.