Steven Moffat Says There Isn't Any 'Doctor Who' Movie in the Works

December 4, 2011
Source: Twitter

Doctor Who

So what's going on? Another denial? Yes indeed, more bad (or potentially good) news. I was alerted recently that producer/writer Steven Moffat, the current showrunner for BBC's "Doctor Who" sci-fi series, had written a few tweets of interest related to the movie. If you recall, just a month ago, we covered a story from Variety saying that Harry Potter director David Yates was developing a feature film version of the sci-fi show. They even had quotes! Now Moffat is 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." Are we so sure about that?

The original news story on the movie included quotes from Yates, who said he was working with BBC's Jane Tranter, based in LA. "We're looking at writers now. We're going to spend two to three years to get it right," Yates told Variety. "It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena." But Moffat, in one of his tweets over the weekend, fired back a rebuttal. "Movie thing: David Yates, great director, was speaking off the cuff, on a red carpet. You've seen the rubbish I talk when I'm cornered." Did he just call everything Yates said rubbish? Apparently so, but he's pretty confident this movie stuff is just a bunch of rubbish. He even issued a more reassuring statement to UK newspapers, found via MTV's post on the news.

Moffat's statements (via Radio Times) say that Doctor Who is "a vitally important BBC brand with a huge international audience" and one which "not even Hollywood can start from scratch." I love the swipes he's taking at Hollywood while he can. He continues: "There simply are no developed plans for a Doctor Who movie at the moment" but "if and when the movie happens it will need to star television's Doctor Who - and there's only ever one of those at a time." Which, at current the moment, is Matt Smith. Finally, he mentions: "Whatever happens, the BBC and BBC Worldwide will work together to ensure that we don't just get a movie, we get the movie that everyone wants." There you go, confirmed in full by Moffat himself.

Though I should say, interestingly, his statements for the paper seem to be a bit more vague—"no developed plans", "at the moment"—but from the sounds of it, a Doctor Who movie isn't happening anytime soon, so don't get your hopes up. Plus, when/if one ever is coming, Moffat will be telling you all the details and will be making sure it stars the current TV Doctor anyway. We'll let you know if we ever hear any other updates.

Find more posts: Development, Movie News, Opinions



No need for a movie,its perfect as a show.

TheLaughingMan on Dec 4, 2011


I agree the movie is unnecessary. I take what Moffat said with a lot of weight, why? Because of how long he took to say them. This wasn't an initial reaction. It wouldn't surprise me if he had a few words with the higher ups as to why it was a stupid idea.

Chris McGrath on Dec 4, 2011


I think the media reaction to Yates' initial comments were a bit overblown. Yates didn't use the word "reboot." He said "radical transformation" then went on to describe the current Doctor Who show as also having been a "transformation." That was the context for him saying that he'd start from scratch. New Doctor, new sets, new approach and a new story unconnected to past story-arcs? Sure. But a reboot? Not necessarily.

ML on Dec 4, 2011


Moffat and the Doctor are alike.... they both lie. He denied spoilers that turned out to be true before. So until something happens who knows.

Cat Farming on Dec 4, 2011


"Yates made clear that his movie adaptation would not follow on from the current TV series, but would take a completely fresh approach to the material." That's a reboot.  They've made movies before and only one of them continued on from the TV series.  BBC and BBC World Wide are two different entities with different agendas.  BBC World Wide would love to take a franchise into the movie world.  Moffat is over stating the international audience - outside of BBC America viewers, no one knows Doctor Who.  A movie franchise could be quite lucrative to BBC World Wide, more so than the TV series could ever be.  Since the BBC is cutting bank on TV programming, a move to movies makes sense. Given how well Harry Potter has done, Doctor Who could be pitched as having a similar appeal.  With the right director behind the project it could be very successful.

robert on Dec 4, 2011


Those aren't Yates' actual words, just the article's interpretation. Yates might have meant a reboot or he might not have, but when he's describing both his vision and the work of RTD and Steven Moffat as "transformations" it's still too vague to assume he was really talking about a reboot. Personally, I think the franchise has proven it can stay fresh and reinvent itself over the years without having to "reboot" anything. He changes faces and companions rather frequently, so what's the point of a reboot?

ML on Dec 5, 2011


Shia LaBeouf, Zac Efron, Anton Yelchin or an actor from Gossip Girl as the Doctor.

Hayley Rich on Dec 5, 2011


You are kidding right? There's no way in hell any of those guys would play the doctor.

Gcslilriotgurl21 on Dec 5, 2011


The movie should never be made until the show is coming to a close. This idea could take several years before getting it to greenlit. I would recommend the BBC production team to leave this for a very long time. 

Martin Field on Dec 5, 2011


i think that it might not be a bad idea to make one. i do think however that Mr Yates should take an extra, i dont know, five years because i want the movie to be spectacular. we all know, im sure, what happens when someone makes a reboot, they dont usually live up to expectation, just look at the A-Team reboot.

dctrwhofanatc on Dec 10, 2011


i think Moffat is just mad. He had this doctors whole season mapped out in detail, he had it done even before this doctor came onboard, and his "temper tantrum" on twitter, and thats all it is, is because he thinks he should write the movie. i think however that a reboot would be great, im not even opposed to watching a young first doctor stealing the TARDIS and going on his first adventures.

dctrwhofanatc on Dec 9, 2011


i dont want a reboot. The show is fine as it is. the show has been going on for almost 50 years. why erase that history?. i personally don't want a hollywood reboot of my favorite childhood show.

Doctorzdalekz on Jan 3, 2012

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