Director Neil Marshall is currently doing the publicity rounds for his latest feature Centurion. However, in-between gabbing to the press, it appears that he’s also been dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on a contract for his next film. The Descent director has just signed on to helm a gourmet horror (you read that right) written by David Cohen called Underground.According to Deadline, the film is set in the world of “gourmet underground supper clubs” where “an ambitious young chef ventures into the terrifying underbelly of extreme cuisine.”
From that brief synopsis it’s pretty safe to assume that the film will feature cannibalism as a central plot point – something that’s been an underlying theme in pretty much all of Marshall’s films since Dog Soldiers. The film has an intriguing premise, considering the public's current fascination with cooking at the minute.
Maybe it’s the recession, or the fear that we don’t know exactly what we’re eating when we are out, but television in the 20th Century seems to be dominated by cooking shows and celebrity chefs – Gordon Ramsay, I’m looking at you. It’s pretty safe to assume that Marshall will be referencing this when he brings Underground to the screen.
In my recent review of Centurion, I wrote that Marshall had reached something of a cross roads in his career, as a writer and director, and that he should either direct somebody else’s material, or at the very least collaborate with another writer. So, hearing that he’s making Cohen’s script is certainly good news. The concept is suited to Marshall’s gory tastes (no pun intended), so if the script matches up to the idea, then we should be ready for a delicious treat (pun intended).
The Underground announcement subsequently offers hints on the status of Marshall's other projects as well. Marshall's attachment to Underground implies the film will reach screens before Burst, the Sam Raimi 3D horror production about “people exploding.” The Burst script is currently being penned by Brian Nelson, the writer of Hard Candy and 30 Days of Night (you can read more about Burst in our interview with Marshall here). It's also likely that Marshall's big-screen adaptation of British television series The Professionals will, once again, have to wait awhile longer before it can start shooting.
Marshall likes to stay busy (he’s directed four films in a decade) so it’s good to see that he’s got a few projects on his plate, considering he’s never made a truly bad film. Dog Soldiers is a fantastic low budget, comedic riff, on Aliens and Zulu mixed with horror genre staples and The Descent is filled with nail biting tension. Doomsday is flawed but packed with some great set pieces, while Centurion is a lean and mean chase movie.
Underground sounds like a new direction for the British director, who appears (on the surface at least) to be going for a subtler type of horror this time around. It’s good to see him leaving his comfort zone a bit.
Keep reading Screen Rant for more news on Underground.