Neil Marshall on the set of 'Doomsday'My principles may be crumbling, just a little. Neil Marshall (pictured) is in talks to direct Predators, according to Bloody Disgusting, citing an anonymous tipster. At this point, it's very much a rumor -- for all we know, Marshall was visiting a friend in the commissary at 20th Century Fox and was seen in close proximity to an executive -- but of all the possible candidates to helm a sequel to the alien hunter franchise, I'd definitely be down with Marshall.

He has three features to his credit: The Descent is the best and most widely-acclaimed, a feverish nightmare in which a group of women explore a cave and discover deadly denizens, to their dismay. I got a huge kick out of the bloody, funny, pulse-pounding Dog Soldiers, featuring Scottish soldiers on a training run who encounter werewolves, and, though I was decidedly in the minority, really enjoyed the post-Apocalyptic action epic Doomsday. The latter was his first with a Hollywood studio (Rogue Pictures). Upcoming is his "old-style swords 'n' armor action epic" Centurion, which looks promising but doesn't yet have US distribution.

Robert Rodriguez is on board to produce. Predators is already set to be released on July 7, 2010, so Fox will have to make a decision soon. Marshall has always written his own scripts; if this rumor proves to be true, either he'll have to pound out a rewrite in a hurry or take what Fox gives him. Considering the track records of Marshall and Fox, there's reason for both optimism ... and despair.