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.