Doctor Who Movie Is Happening, But Will Ditch The TV Show

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Doctor Who is being turned into a movie. It’s something fans have talked about for years, but somehow never took seriously. Nobody really saw this coming.

This morning though Harry Potter director David Yates was announced as the man in charge of bringing Doctor Who to the big screen. That’s the good news. The bad news is none of the team involved in the current TV incarnation of the franchise, whether it’s Russell T. Davies, Stephen Moffat, or anyone else, will have anything at all to do with the movie.

Yates is intent on creating his own interpretation of The Doctor’s mythos. Talking to Variety he says, “Russell T. Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch.”

In other words anyone hoping that either David Tennant or Matt Smith might finally get their due and play The Doctor on the big screen can pretty much forget it. The movie won’t have any thing to do with the TV show you love, a strange move considering the current popularity of the television series.

The movie Who is still in the early stages. They’re looking to hire writers now after which Yates says “We’re going to spend two to three years to get it right.” Part of getting it right will probably be ditching everything you love about it. He says, “It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena.”

But does it really? Doctor Who is already a fairly cinematic show. Moffat and Russell T. Davies before them have already created something brilliant, something that people love. Why abandon it to go some other direction? When Paramount decided to bring Star Trek into the realm of movies, it didn’t hire replacement actors to play Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. They simply brought their cast to the big screen and then kept right on making movies until they were all too old to do them. Doctor Who deserves the same treatment.

There’s still a chance this movie could be good, even if it’s not the movie fans want. The Doctor is easy to fit into just about any science fiction story. Write anything for him and if you cast the right actor to play the character, he’ll elevate the material. It’s really all about the casting, which makes it even more baffling that they aren’t willing to simply hire Matt Smith or David Tennant and be done with it. They’ve already nailed the character, why not go with what works?

UPDATE! There have been a few new developments since this story originally broke, and there’s now reason to hope this movie may not happen at all. For more on that go here.

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  1. Rowdy123 says:

    Are you freakin kidding me? This is just like that new Buffy movie in development – that wants to cash in on the name, without the use of cast or creators… why?

    • JT says:

      Good comparison.  It doesn’t make any sense does it?  It’s just another name cash-in from filmmakers too lazy to bother with established cannon.

  2. Brian Heenan says:

    how worthless is that…

  3. Samuel Hart says:

    I think it’s because they want to make it hollywood approved. We all know what that’ll involve. Throwing big piles of turd at it until no more sticks 😀

  4. Anonymous says:

    I say great, as long as they do something like redo the first doctor (from the sixties), rather than re-imagining everything and severely disrupting canon. 

    It’s OK to reboot if the original actor is dead, right?

  5. ronald demarco says:

    People this is nothing new back in the 60’s they made two Dr. Who movies with Peter Chushing playing the Dr.  He was an absent minded human scientis who invented the TARDIS.  The Dalics in the first movie were six feet tall and had flame throwers. The plot was based on two TV Who’s but all the actors except one were different. The movies were very popular and for most people were the first exposure to Dr. Who.

  6. Mr. Baldman says:

    The only way it might be interesting is if they went back to the very beginning and showed a very young Doctor, seeing the TARDIS for the first time and stealing it.  The whole “Origins“ angle.

  7. Jef Sof says:

    The Dr. Who movie will be just fine – maybe not great, but visually impressive for sure given Yates’ past work … about 100 actors could play the part (I prefer that new Sherlock Holmes guy Benedict Cumberbatch) … what matters is if they can come up with a compelling story the way the X-Files creative team could not in 2 films … if they keep it simple and focused on ONE story and not an over-arching telling of the whole series and backstory, it has a chance to be good … and the Dr. Who movie that came out in ’99 was pretty good … if they want a franchise of films they need to introduce the Daleks as strong villains early and cast the right guy in the first film

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is a horrible idea. Doctor Who is just fine on TV with the current actors and writers, it doesn’t need a film or another reboot.

  9. Salguod Xam says:

    Film might be fun but stick with the continuity and cast!

    Look, if people want to understand more of the back story, there’s a library of DVDs to sell! Write something that works with a minimum of background you can build into the movie plot, but don’t worry about a film audience getting EVERY little detail. The average viewer won’t care HOW the tardis works, just that it looks good doing it. 

  10. If David Tennant or Matt Smith, maybe a paradox when both have to work somehow side by side 100% yes, If they get it right. But other than that hell no and then the writers won’t be Steven Moffat or Russell T. Davies It would be an abomination.

  11. Geuli says:

    With David Yates at the realm, this movie will SUCK!!!  I did not like his interpretations of the Harry Potter movies, and he will totally destroy Dr. Who!  What is he a Dalek in disguise?  This completely exterminates my day 🙁

  12. Paul Dempsey says:

    Why should I pay to see a TV show?  The timeline for Doctor who moves forward on TV.  Someone suggested and Origins theme, which is what I was thinking before I saw it.  I would like to know the story behind the story.  Take up back to the lands of the Timelords before the breaking.  The descriptions of his home planet are outstanding and small glimpses of this could be exploded into a fantastic set.  I agree that a Cinematic Event should stand on it’s own. 

  13. Mae says:

    I was hoping they’d get Paul McGann (Eighth Doctor) back for a movie about the Time War… but ugh. The director’s a bloody idiot. I hope he gets fired and replaced by someone else.

  14. could they do worse than Davies stripping away the Doctor’s dignity piece by piece with that insulting  and frankly stupid Rose “love-story” arc? 

    • It wasn’t stupid at all. The Doctor’s 9th incarnation was a brooding,mentally and emotionally scarred war vet trying to pick up the pieces of his former free-spirited lifestyle while dealing with the loss of his entire world. Meeting Rose was like therapy for him, and when he regenerated to an even YOUNGER version, of course he would slowly develop feelings for her. I mean, the man WAS a father AND a grandfather once before.

  15. Jameelah00 says:

    I have loved dr who since i was 5, but if they were going to change everything about it i would tell people NOT to go see it!  Coz i think they are ripping of an all time classic show in my opinion! 🙁

  16. Matt Osborne says:

    Ditch T. Davis and Moffat is the best move that could happen to this. These two have taken the original, smoked crack, and written a load of nonsensical cannon. Yes let’s have the Master merge with Ghost rider and he can shoot freaking lasers, or better yet cybershades, gorilla suits with resprayed cybermen masks. At the lows of these morons we saw catcus aliens that had their 3d makeup pealing off. Fail BBC spirit gum doesn’t cost £2.

  17. The regular series plot-lines are so over-the-top, I have a hard time
    imagining that a movie will be satisfying to fans. Dr. Who is kinda
    fattening television dessert. Like most adaptations, they will probably
    spend quite a bit of time explaining things that the fan-base already
    knows, which will be irksome.