Neil Marshall, director of UK werewolf hit Dog Soldiers, is returning to the horror genre with Outpost, one of a fresh slate of projects to receive development funding from public funding body the UK Film Council this week.

In a premise similar to Marshall's hit debut, which follows a squad of soldiers on a training mission getting picked off by a family of werewolves, Outpost is set on a derelict oil rig where a secret genetic experiment goes awry. A special military forces team investigates only to face a fearsome, mutating opponent. Marshall is writing the film, while Keith Bell at Northmen Productions is producing.

Meanwhile, David Aukin, the former head of film at Channel 4, has re-emerged on the UK film map with a feature project with leading UK writer Ronan Bennett. Aukin and Bennett have secured development funding from the Council for the project, which charts a man's desperate search for his teenage daughter.

The Council is also developing A Spy By Nature, based on a book by Charles Cumming about a smooth new MI6 recruit who becomes trapped in a web of deception, with Spooks writer Howard Brenton and producer Stephen Garrett of Kudos Film & Televison. Additionally, Crossed Wires is wartime love story set in Dublin being produced by Natasha Dack at Tigerlily Films and written by Ruth McCance.

Other projects on the council's development roster include Ssshhh..., a thriller by director-producer Gary Sinyor and writer Philip Nayal, and Chasing Heaven, the story of a man trying to get himself killed when he gets an accidental glimpse of a heaven full of big cars and fast women. Erica Motley at Ice Productions and distributor Momentum Pictures have teamed on the project.