EXCLUSIVE: Neil Marshall has been set to direct Troll Hunter, the remake of the Norwegian film that IMG Global is financing. The Marc Haimes-scripted film is gearing toward an early 2014 production start, while there’s still snow on the ground in the locations where they will shoot.
That means that Marshall starts work on the $25 million film as soon as he returns from Ireland, where he is shooting next season’s biggest episode of HBO’s Game Of Thrones, one that is on the scale of the “Blackwater” episode he directed, which featured one of the most ambitious battle scenes I’ve ever seen on television. Marshall also directed the pilot episode of Black Sails for Michael Bay and Starz, which airs in 2014 and has already been picked up for a second season by the network. Marshall will do a director’s pass on the script by Haimes, who recently sold an untitled pitch to Paramount with Mary Parent producing.
Troll Hunter is being produced by 1492’s Christopher Columbus and Michael Barnathan and CJ Entertainment, along with the film’s original producers John Jacobsen and Sveinung Golimo. Marshall takes over an earlier script draft from Marc Haimes. They will aim high for the male lead, looking for a star not normally associated with the genre.
The André Øvredal-directed 2010 Norwegian original Trollhunter focused on a group of students investigating a series of mysterious bear killings. They follow a mysterious hunter into the deep woods, learning along the way that he is a troll hunter, and that the creatures killing those bears might not confine their appetites to that species only.
Marshall, best known for such edgy genre fare as Centurion, The Descent, Doomsday and Dog Soldiers, is repped by Principato Young Entertainment, Resolution and Carlos Goodman. Here’s the trailer for the original: