LONDON — Highly-regarded production executive Liza Marshall is to step down as head of Ridley Scott’s London-based TV and film production arm Scott Free UK, she confirmed to Variety Friday.
Marshall is considering a number of options within the U.K. film and TV production sector, she told Variety, including setting up her own production company. The date of her departure has yet to be set.
Marshall was one of those approached by U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 recently as a potential replacement for Tessa Ross as head of its filmmaking division Film4, with the position eventually being filled by David Kosse, Universal Pictures’ international chief.
Since joining Scott Free UK in 2009, Marshall has overseen a broad range of TV and film projects. These have included feature film “Welcome to the Punch,” a crime thriller starring James McAvoy and Mark Strong, and Kevin Macdonald’s YouTube pic “Life in a Day,” which has been developed as a franchise. She has also worked on TV miniseries like “Labyrinth,” based on the novel by Kate Mosse, and co-produced with Tandem Prods.
Scott Free UK’s upcoming movie releases include family comedy “Get Santa,” which stars Jim Broadbent, and Rowan Joffe’s psychological thriller “Before I Go to Sleep,” which toplines Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong. TV productions in the pipeline include “Taboo,” an eight-part miniseries starring and exec produced by Tom Hardy, and penned by Steven Knight.
Before joining Scott Free UK, Marshall was head of drama at Channel 4, where she oversaw productions such as John Crowley’s “Boy A,” which picked up four BAFTAs, TV drama trilogy “Red Riding,” which won three BAFTAs, and the controversial “Death of a President,” which nabbed an International Emmy.
Before moving to Channel 4, Marshall was a producer and executive producer at the BBC, where her credits included acclaimed crime drama “The Long Firm.”
Working at Scott Free UK gave Marshall the opportunity to run a production company, which she hadn’t done before, and broadened her network of contacts within the international production and distribution sectors.
“It’s been a great experience setting up Scott Free London. Ridley is an inspirational man to be around and I’ve loved working with him,” she said.
She added that she was “very sad” to leave behind projects such as “Taboo.”
“It breaks my heart to leave my slate behind — I had to do the same when I left Channel 4 — it’s difficult as you become so emotionally attached to your projects, but sometimes you just have to move on to new challenges,” she told Variety.