Doctor Who Coming to the Big Screen

This story pops up every now and then, but generally it’s just a vicious rumour like the last time when it was rumoured that Russell T. Davies would be involved, with David Tennant starring. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your side in all this, this time round it seems that the story is actually true.

Director David Yates (Harry Potter 5-7) is adapting the long-running BBC series Doctor Who for the big screen. Yates is starting to work on developing the film with help from Jane Tranter, BBC Worldwide’s executive VP of programming and production. Yates told Daily Variety “We’re looking at writers now. We’re going to spend two to three years to get it right. It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena.”

There have already been two films based on the series: Doctor Who and the Daleks and Doctor Who: Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., the last of which was all the way back in swinging ’66. Yates has said that the film adaptation will not follow on from the TV series, instead taking a completely different approach from both Davies’ and Moffat’s take. Yates did state, however, that both incarnations were “fantastic” but “we have to put that aside and start from scratch”. I can only hope that Yates doesn’t take this idea of making it “different” and run with it, sacrificing it being good along the way.

There has been no official confirmation by the BBC themselves, but since it’s Yates himself breaking this news, we can safely assume that the story has at least some truth. Yates confirmed that they are looking at both sides of the Atlantic for writers, “We want a British sensibility, but having said that, Steve Kloves wrote the Potter films and captured that British sensibility perfectly, so we are looking at American writers too,” he explained.

The question now is who will be cast as the Doctor? We can safely assume that it won’t be David Tennant or Matt Smith, as it’s not a follow on from the TV series. So, we’re asking you guys: what do you think? Are you all for or against the idea? And who do you think should be the Doctor? We’re plumping for Tilda Swinton. That’s if this is a fruitful story and it’s not cast off into limbo within the year.

Updates: The Official Doctor Who magazine has tweeted denying the rumours saying “To those hearing Doctor Whomovie rumours, it’s just the same rumours which have been going round for years. Nothing’s currently happening!” along with that Senior Brand Executive for BBC Wales Edward Russell tweeted, “Off Twitter for a few hours and the Doctor Who world explodes. There’s always talk of a movie. Perhaps? Maybe one day. But not right now!”

Now who knows what’s happening with this. I want to doubt that Yates would say all this merely to stir some rumours, but I don’t know if it’s beyond him. Although, it could be a case that the people behind the series really have absolutely nothing to do with the development of the movie. It’s anyone’s guess at this stage, but we’ll keep you updated as more comes in on the story.

Update 2: BBC America tweeted to say “A Doctor Who feature film remains in development w/ BBC Worldwide Productions in LA. As of yet no script, cast or production crew in place.”

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