'Harry Potter' Director David Yates Taking 'Doctor Who' to the Movies

November 14, 2011
Source: Variety

Doctor Who

After being at the helm of the final four films in the successful Harry Potter franchise, director David Yates is now looking to take on a longer-running British pop culture icon for the big screen treatment. Variety has word that the filmmaker is working with the BBC to turn the sci-fi TV series Doctor Who into a film franchise. The series, which originally ran from 1963 to 1989 before being rebooted back in 2005, has a huge fanbase spanning generations who love the original and sometimes comedic adventures a super-intelligent alien in human form who travels across space and time battling a variety of cosmic characters.

However, the project won't exactly be in the immediate future since Yates says, "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." But taking it to a bigger arena will not require audiences to be familiar with the series as Yates says the film will not be a continuation of the rebooted series from Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat, who recently wrote The Adventures of Tintin.

Instead the film will start from scratch, but I'm not so sure that longtime fans of the series will be so keen on that detail since Davies and Moffat seem to have crafted quite a return to the classic character with actors Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant (who starred in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, not directed by Yates), and most recently Matt Smith. The question is who will step into TARDIS for this big screen venture.

Update: There's an update to this Doctor Who movie news posted on December 4th that may be of interest to fans just read this. BBC showrunner Steven Moffat is now claiming that "any Doctor Who movie would be made by the BBC team, star the current TV Doctor and certainly NOT be a Hollywood reboot." That means this may not be true and there isn't really a movie in the works after all, at least not for a long time. You can read the full quote and update from Moffat right here.

Find more posts: Development, Feat, Movie News



David Yates directing a Dr Who movie?  SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! Also, Benedict Cumberbatch.

Jertown on Nov 14, 2011


this is terrible

Peter Sostarich on Nov 14, 2011


Bow ties are cool !!!!! The real cool thing, is that with the Doctor, you have infinite options and cant go wrong if you can manage to write a fun and intelligent adventure. The proof is right under our noses, watch the end of year specials or find one of the great stories writen by Neal Gaiman ( Coraline, Stardust and Mirror Mask ) or Richard Curtis (War Horse, Pirate Radio, Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, etc....) There are a lot of options, and I love the news.

Alexander Gramlich on Nov 14, 2011


ugh, fuck no. Out of continuity with the show and from the guy who made the final Potter movies painfully boring to sit through. Count me out.

Matt on Nov 14, 2011


Hmmm....well, hate ta break it to you, but it's happened before: the two DW movies with Peter Cushing from 1965 and 1966.  As far as I can tell, I haven't read any complaints from back then about screwing up continuity.

Anonymous on Nov 15, 2011


Yeah, I know about those, and I'm sure if I was alive when they were released I'd be equally annoyed. But at least they didn't have the talentless Yates directing them.

Matt on Nov 15, 2011


Shia LaBeouf, Zac Efron, Anton Yelchin, Ed Westwick, Penn Badgely, Adam Brody, Chace Crawford or Emile Hirsch as the Doctor

Danielle on Nov 14, 2011


Have you ever watched Doctor Who? From what I know, you've picked "heart-throb" leads from the likes of Gossip Girl, High School Musical and the OC amongst others. NONE of these actors are capable of portraying the Doctor. Also, how many of those names are British? Good lord, I bet you've never even heard of the likes of Tom Baker or Jon Pertwee. Your suggestions... gah!

Tony on Nov 14, 2011


Jesus. Calm yo teetz! The internet isn't ~srs bsns~, good heavens.

fem!anon on Nov 14, 2011


obviously neither Danielle nor fem!anon cares about staying true to the material of doctor who and just wants some eye candy to ogle, which you can't fault a girl for. but seriously, get that shit out of here. THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS, GURL. they need to get the doctor right!

l.beezy on Nov 14, 2011


Well, they got the Doctor right with Peter Cushing in his two DW films from the 1960s...and they sure as shooting did not follow series continuity! But seriously, though....let's not flame people for wanting eye candy.  Although I sure as hell wouldn't cast Zach Efron or others--the Doctor's supposed to be a Brit, dammit!

Anonymous on Nov 15, 2011


If it stars David Tennett, yes please.  If it doesn't, no thanks. Maybe they could explore the "Doctor's Daughter" side story more for continuity's sake?

Anonymous on Nov 14, 2011


But McWetty, they've already done TWO DW films already with a different actor--remember the Peter Cushing DW films from '65 and '66?  They didn't follow series continuity....

Anonymous on Nov 15, 2011


You can't do a Doctor Who movie without the current Doctor. I would go see it but I think it would be like going to watch the most recent Last Airbender film.

Otitis Grimm on Nov 14, 2011


Especially with Yates at the helm...

Eric on Nov 14, 2011


"You can't do a Doctor Who movie without the current Doctor." But it's already been done--and it was done twice, over forty years ago: ...And Peter Cushing was a great choice, easily matching Hartnell and Troughton.

Anonymous on Nov 15, 2011


Been done already.  There were at least two Dr. Who movies made back in the sixties (I think), most notably "Dr. Who and the Daleks starring Peter Cushing.  But, for me, no Doctor measures up to Tom Baker.

Wlcopper on Nov 14, 2011


they also had a 90s version which gave the show its hiatus until 05

Jericho on Nov 14, 2011


Yep, the '90s TV film starring Paul McGann.  But that film--and McGann's Doctor--are accepted as canon, and McGann has even done radio dramas for stories with his iteration of the Doctor.  The ones I've heard are actually quite good.

Anonymous on Nov 15, 2011


Wlcopper, thanks for being perhaps the only person to point this out.  And I remember seeing them on TV years ago.  Cushing was a great choice to play the Doctor. It's been done before--why are people assuming that this is the first time it's happened?

Anonymous on Nov 15, 2011


I say start it from scratch as a movie franchise after the 13th Doctor dies on the tv. I'd also have a newly generated doctor per movie. This will sink or swim depending on the script.   

Mikey on Nov 14, 2011


Two words: TIME WAR!!!

Artman91 on Nov 14, 2011


A Doctor Who movie not in-continuity with the Doctor Who show is a waste of time and money. I love Doctor Who, but that's a terrible idea.

DRM on Nov 14, 2011


Well....I guess it was a waste of money in '65 and '66 when two DW films, not in-continuity, came out in the theaters in England with Peter Cushing as the Doctor.

Anonymous on Nov 15, 2011


McGregor? No no no no no. Even though I'm sceptic of an Doctor Who movie at all, if they make one, they should cast someone ridiculously "british-ish" and fairly unknown.... I second Benedict Cumberbatch. 

nat on Nov 14, 2011


Doctor Who is worse than Marvel for boringness

Crapola on Nov 14, 2011


sweeeet. I'm not to sure about Ewan though. Haven't really seen him in any quirky roles though. 

Chris Amaya on Nov 14, 2011



Chris Amaya on Nov 14, 2011


Peter Yates? Not the most inspired choice. Those Potter films are pretty flat. The amount of time dedicated to nothing much happening is staggering. But a Potter scale Who movie is certainly an interesting idea. Classic Doctor Who is my favourite tv show of all time. Wasn't a fan of the reboot until Steven Moffat and Matt Smith took the reigns.A Who movie was inevitable. It will no doubt play with much of the series' continuity and history and be another interpretation of our kooky Time Lord hero.But here's a sad prediction... the ending will use some crappy time paradox bullshit to solve everything in the tradition of the unsatisfying climaxes of Lost in Space, Star Trek:Generations and the US Doctor Who tv movie with Paul McGann. Please don't do this. And please don't cast Nicolas Cage as the Doctor.

darthstu on Nov 15, 2011


+1 for ewan!

Dom on Nov 15, 2011


With it sounding like a seperate entity to the TV series I'm not sure it will work, that is unless Doctor Who stops being a series and becomes purely a movie franchise, because having the two at the same time wouldn't be right. As for who to star, difficult with it being a few years off but I always thought Ian McKellen would have made a great Doctor, but that is unlikely so how about Jonny Lee Miller.

Andy on Nov 15, 2011



SELRAHC on Nov 15, 2011


Patrick Stewart as The Doctor during the Time War

Fred-derF on Nov 15, 2011


Please God No.  I do love Dr. Who.  But its at its best when its small, clever and quirky.  A Big Screen version would mean bigger SFX, a grander storyline, more Apocalyptic and a "Bigger" name as the Doctor.  All of these things spell disaster for the Doctor.  No.  Keep it on TV.  Keep it special.

Dr.Duvel on Nov 16, 2011


Please God No.  I do love Dr. Who.  But its at its best when its small, clever and quirky.  A Big Screen version would mean bigger SFX, a grander storyline, more Apocalyptic and a "Bigger" name as the Doctor.  All of these things spell disaster for the Doctor.  No.  Keep it on TV.  Keep it special.

Dr.Duvel on Nov 16, 2011

New comments are no longer allowed on this post.



Subscribe to our feed -or- daily newsletter:
Follow Alex's main account on twitter:
For the latest posts only - follow this one:

Add our updates to your Feedly - click here

Get the latest posts sent in Telegram Telegram