When the fine folks that run the SXSW film festival announced the lineup for the 2010 iteration, it was met with excitement. It was a pretty stellar lineup, including some high-profile studio flicks like Kick-Ass and MacGruber as well as films that were riding a wave of buzz from other festivals like Winter's Bone and Enter the Void. As the festival moved closer, some films were dropped and some were added and somewhere, very quietly, a Neil Marshall presents a Secret Screening entry found it's way on to the schedule. It wasn't a secret for long as we discovered that we'd be treated to Centurion, Marshall's new film about a lost legion of the vast Roman empire starring Michael Fassbender. I had a chance to sit down with Marshall and toss a few questions his way.
Horror Squad: You've made a mark using strong female characters which is something that often doesn't happen in US action and horror films, can you talk a little about why that's important to you?
Neil Marshall: I tend not to differentiate; I just want to write good characters. With the exception of Descent, that was a very conscious thing to make an action or horror movie that was an all female cast because I hadn't seen anything like that before. But with all the other characters in the films, it's just like why shouldn't they be women? And certainly with Centurion, the historical context means that there almost certainly would be women warriors at that time. And it is in the time before sexism, so why not? And let's just exploit that. As long as they are three-dimensional characters, as long as they all have exactly the same motivations as you would give a guy, what difference does it make?