back to article Harry Potter director takes on Doctor Who movie

Boy wizard director David Yates is planning to take Doctor Who onto the big screen in conjunction with the BBC. Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter films, has told Variety that he's about to start developing a Doctor Who movie with Jane Tranter, the head of LA-based BBC Worldwide Productions. Tranter was the BBC's …

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  1. SpeakerToAliens
    Thumb Up

    Who should play Dr Who?

    Benedict Cumberbatch of course.

    1. Citizen Kaned

      his was apparently in the sunning but preferred sherlock role.

      either BC or if you HAVE to go american johnny depp or RD Jnr. both are very Anglicized (is that the right word?) and understand english humour.

    2. Alan Bourke

      I was chamioning Cumberballs too

      pre Matthew Smith.

  2. Rob Dobs
    Happy

    House?

    He's actually British and already plays a Know-it-all doctor on TV?

    Plus he might actually help draw in people who aren't dr. who fans already. (like Downey Jr. or Clooney would also do, but without pissing off Dr Who fans or ruining the movie.

    Jonny Depp is a pretty good actor too, certainly passible brit accent in Sleepy Hollow and Sweeny Todd....

  3. Citizen Kaned

    "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," Yates said.

    erm, i thought JK rowling wrote them, and they were very closely rewritten for the films, she also overlooked much of the production in fear the yanks wouldnt make HP some high school karate champion jock.

    slightly tweaking someone else's script is a fair bit different from writing something original yourself.

  4. Horridbloke
    Windows

    Isn't it obvious?

    Rick Mayall in the title role, with Adrian Edmonson portraying Davros.

    While we're at it, have the daleks operating out of a flat in Shepherd's Bush.

  5. Alan Bourke

    It'll end up like Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

    or most other US/UK co-productions. Either an American or Brit family, with a huge house despite one or more of them being unemployed, living in a curious land that is somehow America and the UK at the same time.

    1. MrT
      Thumb Up

      Not to mention...

      ...Depp as the Earl of Rochester in The Libertine - excellent opening monologue.

    2. MrT
      Facepalm

      Can't wait for the scene...

      ...where The Doctor ends up with the sonic screwdriver stuck in his eye after being surprised by Davros whilst using it trying to get into a can of pineapple slices...

    3. Super Fast Jellyfish

      Cybermen.

      And the cybermen running Dixons, Ice Warriors - Iceland of course...

  6. William Boyle
    Happy

    I'm a Yankee, but...

    I'm a Yankee, but I've been a BIG Doctor Who fan since the mid 1970's. I've watched every episode at least once or more, so I think a Blighty actor would be most appropriate. My preference would be to keep in sync with current TV versions and use Matt Smith (who I think has been really great), but David Tennant would not be remiss - although I think that the Doctor's daughter should make a reappearance! I've certainly been intrigued with the possibility of a "time line" featuring her! :-)

    1. MacGyver
      Alert

      +1 for the blonde daughter.

      They don't really have anymore doctors left, I think we've been technically at eleven for awhile now, and we should have only ever been at 10 (10 regenerations), so unless they segue into why there can be more than 10 from the TV series, it will be as lame as the 1996 movie.

      So for me it's Tennant, or the daughter. Or Smith, but I worry they won't spend enough on it, if it is only ever going to be a TV-movie, and that's what it would be seen as if they use Smith. I like Smith, a lot better than Clooney though. BTW, I'm a Yankee, but Doctor Who is and always should be British.

      1. Petrea Mitchell
        Boffin

        -1 for geek knowledge

        12 regenerations. Recall that in Mawdryn Undead there were "eight more" of him... and also [SPOILER] allegedly derived from his twelfth regeneration going wrong somehow.

  7. Toxteth O'Gravy
    Thumb Down

    Start from scratch?

    So it won't actually be Doctor Who, then? Just titled 'Doctor Who'.

    Waste of time, people.

    1. Oliver Mayes

      Actually, I believe it's just titled "Who"

      1. Moz
        Coat

        Actually, they could call it "WHO?!" and make it as a musical.

        (Grabs coat. Runs.)

      2. Robert E A Harvey
        FAIL

        just titled "Who"

        What!

        Why?

  8. Paul C
    Coat

    Low expectations

    So I'd hate to see any actor take the blame. I just hope this doesn't end up as a cross between the 1996 TV movie and Peter Cushing's "Dr. Who and the Daleks".

    It also makes me wonder about the future of the TV show. The timing on this would certainly put it past the 50th anniversary, and Matt Smith's run on the show. End the series and relaunch it as a movie franchise? The BBC Worldwide will still make a fortune on licensing and merchandise.

    In terms of a "fun" choice, what about Hugh Laurie? I doubt he'd do it, but it might work.

    1. graeme leggett

      Remake?

      Genesis of the Daleks.

      Hollywood money would be able to give you more than a dozen Kaled soldiers and equally small number of Thals.

      Guy Siner is in LA, perhaps he's available.

    2. Robert E A Harvey

      Agreed.

      But what about Emma Watson as the Doctor?

  9. AlexS
    IT Angle

    Nice rewrite

    BBC website (no doubt where you found out) rewrote the story as it was BBC related.

    and The Register rewrote the story because......??

    (ps Where has the Reg headstone icon gone? Bring it back!!!).

  10. Sporkinum

    Fry /Laurie

    Either Hugh Laurie or Stephen Fry would be great. Pilkington can't because he would be too busy being Bullshitman. Then again, I guess that's what the Doctor does too!

  11. Jon Green
    Alien

    Swazi Boy for Doctor!

    How about Richard E Grant - particularly with a steampunk Tardis? C'mon, it's gotta be done!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From the beginning (or before)

    How about a script from pre-1963 first episode? Just what was the doctor locked up for? -- how did he steal a TARDIS? -- what did William Hartnell Doctor look like when he was younger? There's presumably scope there for a new story without conflicting with all the TV episodes. It's probably already explained in the books, but as Vic and Bob say, there's no point reading a book cos if it's any good it'll be made into a film.

    Either that or the Master takes a TARDIS back in time, disguises it as a giant mining ship, kills Kirk's father and destroys Vulcan.

  13. phlashbios
    Facepalm

    Please god,no !

    I am a big fan of the fantasy genre and read many books and play a variety of videogames all set in fantasy environments. However, I have been subjected to all the Harry Potter movies, and every single one of them as been a pile of unmitigated, steaming sh....ermmm... dung.

    I am therefore, not greatly encouraged by the director of those movies, directing the new Dr.Who film.

    I have been a fan of Dr.Who since childhood, and I am still a fan to this day, despite the best efforts of Russell T Davies to turn it into a camp farce during his tenure, it really doesn't need the director of the Harry Potter movies turning out a Dr.Who movie that is as big a damp squib as those movies were.

    Get Ridley Scott to direct the new movie. Then we will see some interesting direction :-)

  14. TRT Silver badge
    Go

    Make it...

    in LEGO!

    1. Ross 7

      Stick Paul McGann in as the assistant and that's gonna pwn.

    2. frank ly
      Happy

      Wow...

      Your final paragraph sounds like a Doctor Who - Red Dwarf - Star Trek amalgam. I'd watch it!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      not in true Lego

      but a Lego clone, if the toy shelves on my local Tesco are any guide.

      Now I like true Logo, but their concepts are pretty bland & identikit. Not that they're not extrememly well executed, but still lacking much in the way of character. A bit like Disney products.

    4. stucs201

      Re: gotta be done

      er, been done. Doctor who and the curse of the fatal death

    5. Liam Johnson

      Search your feelings

      Kirk IS his father.....

      Nooooooo.

    6. Karl H
      Mushroom

      mashed up sci-fi

      Luke Skywalker , after saving the Jedi and defeating the Evil Empire ends up getting plugged into the Matrix, eventually he takes every colour pill that is on offer, escapes and defeats the Matrix and then somehow steals Dr Who's tardis, goes back in time kills Kirk's father, destroys Vulcan, but Spock manages to make a mutator beam that turns Luke Skywalker into a Terminator , who then gets back into the stolen Tardis goes back in time and kills Annakin Skywalker's father, unknown to the Skywalker-Terminator , a young Montgomery Scott had stowed away in the Tardis. Scotty destroys Skywalker-Terminator and shags Darth Vader's mother, and thus becomes Darth Vader's father.

    7. Sartorius
      Gimp

      Cartmel/Lungbarrow

      There is some fun to be had here, definitely space to do some VERY early first Doctor stories. Maybe even some "Other" Tales?

      Always had the idea of Pete Postlethwaite as a pre-'Unearthly Child' Doctor ....

  15. dogged

    Hugh Jackman

    what?

    He can do the accent (_The Prestige_), the yanks love him and he's an Aussie so we Brits sort of like him, too.

    Job done.

  16. Dave Walker 1
    Megaphone

    TOM BAKER FTW

  17. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    My top three picks are

    Derek Jacobi

    Kenneth Branagh

    Paul Bettany

    OR Jason Statham, but only if they can fit a dual-turbo V10 in the TARDIS.

  18. Dante

    Hopefully it'll be Chuck Norris as the Doctor.

    1. stucs201
      Facepalm

      re: Derek Jacobi

      The same actor playing the master and playing the doctor? Thats not going to be at all confusing is it?

    2. Arctic fox
      Joke

      RE: "Hopefully it'll be Chuck Norris as the Doctor."

      Well I do remember one episode many moons ago when the then Doctor (John Pertwee) said he practised Venusian Karate, so that might be appropriate.

  19. IdristheSweep
    Pint

    Laurie? As companion maybe...

    ...to Stephen Fry's Doctor.

  20. Some Beggar
    Trollface

    Will Smith.

    The police box has to go though. His spaceship should look like a spaceship. With guns. And they should ditch the silly sonic screwdriver and replace it with a gun. Or two guns. And he should have sex with his sidekick. But only after they've done that hilarious bitching/flirting thing for the first half hour. Then she should probably die. Then he should kill the daleks. With his fists.

    Then a cameo from Iron Man after the credits.

  21. Audrey S. Thackeray

    Can James Nesbitt do an English accent tolerably? He was excellent in the Dr Who-ish, Moffat-written Jekyl and is well known to Tranter.

    1. Some Beggar

      Thumbs down??!?

      Ach come on! Who wouldn't pay to watch the Fresh Prince punch a Cyberman in the balls?

    2. lawndart

      Never mind James Nesbitt, I think Gregor Fisher should make an excellent Doctor.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        Would certainly make the doctors new outfit easy - stained wife beaters all round.

  22. TRT Silver badge

    Can't we get...

    Peter Cushing?

    1. Some Beggar
      Thumb Up

      A plasticine-style CGI version

      like the young Jeff Bridges in the new Tron.

  23. Ross 7

    Jane Tranter? Phils sister? Phwoar....

    ----

    Yes I know, but it's mildly related.

  24. Efros
    Happy

    Can only be

    Danny Dyer.

    On a more serious suggestion, I think John Malkovich would be a brilliantly maniacal doc a la Tom Baker.

    1. Vic

      > Phils sister?

      Surely "Pete's sister?"

      Vic.

  25. a cynic writes...

    Providing they avoided the mid-Atlantic bollocks, they could give Paul McGann another go. He's been doing the audio dramas for long enough.

  26. HP Cynic

    I actually think this show has enough of a following in the USA that the American fans would also expect it to stay true to the "British sensibilities" and hopefully this includes a Brit Actor.

    The more I think about Hugh Laurie though the better that sounds: not Hugh "House" Laurie but Hugh "Blackadder and similar" Laurie.

    But he'd probably want too much money :)

    1. admiraljkb

      @cynic

      We haven't seen the Time War, so bringing McGann back isn't all bollocks for an idea. Unfortunately, that would be 2 or 3 movies worth of material. Err wait, Harry Potter director? NVM :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        My thought exactly.

        Ripe for a film telling that story as long as it is done properly.

  27. JDX Gold badge

    Johnny Depp

    An interesting thought. He's great at playing eccentric weirdos... both serious and silly. There is a certain similarity between Matt Smith's Dr. Who, and Depp's Captain Sparrow.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    be controversial

    Get a female Doctor in..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      nah

      just cast Prince Phillip :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Indeed, go the Starbuck reboot route and make the Doctor a woman.

  29. Kyoraki
    Black Helicopters

    They don't even have a script yet...

    No need to panic yet people, nothing is certain at this point. As for the lead role, Either Mr Depp or Hugh Laurie. I'd love a bit of blackadder style in a who movie.

  30. Calum 1
    IT Angle

    Well, in my view stepping out of established continuity is very disappointing. Even the nineties movie didn't need to do that.

    The Doctor has been alive 900 years plus, surely somewhere in there there's enough uncovered ground for a movie to be written within the existing timeline?

    The movie i'd love to see is the one about the Time Wars, that happens somewhere between the nineties movie, and Christopher Ecclestone's takeup of the role in 2005.

    They won't do that though. They'll muck it up completely. Just you wait. :-)

  31. Hughb
    Devil

    Rant time :)

    Anyone remember Judge Dredd?? ............ no?

    My point exactly.

    You can guarantee that as the money will come from the US that the choice for the Dr. will be out of Auntie's hands. Thereby ensuring the Dr. Who movie will be forced kicking and squeeling into the mire of Fan hatred and disapointment.

    A movie studio execs idea of "the lead" will always be a trillion miles away from what the rest of the know universe wants.

    Rant over :) I do like the suggested Richard E Grant and a Steam Punk TARDIS. Especially if it follws the story arc from the beginning of the Doctor.

    1. Vic

      You utter bastard.

      > Anyone remember Judge Dredd?

      I've been trying not to. Now I've got to wipe that steaming pile of shite from my memory once more...

      Vic.

      1. Hughb

        Yeah, really sorry about that Vic. Ive already been and washed my brain out with bleach!

    2. Super Fast Jellyfish

      Fingers crossed

      The new one will be better - when's El Reg going to tell something about it?

  32. Sulehir
    Happy

    Heres one for the commentards consideration... Patrick Stewart

    Could be interesting having a bald Doctor. Set it during the time war for a great brooding performance.

    1. Some Beggar
      Trollface

      Yes!

      I loved him in Dirty Dancing and Ghost.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But is it canon?

    Is this new film going to be canon?

    Given that I'll believe it when I actually see it in a cinema, I'll assume by default that it's not.

    But if it does happen, it'll be a modern-day repeat of the Peter Cushing films. An internationally known star (Hugh Grant or Bill Nighy) playing *a* Doctor, but merely picking whichever bits of the TV show canon that suit the producers, and making up any contradictory stuff to fill the gaps.

    Cumberbatch may be good for the TV series (though I'd prefer him as a recurring Master), but I'm not sure he's world famous enough for a film version. Same goes for the David Tennant comeback theory.

    I wouldn't be surprised if it features the Timelords and no Timewar, in which case what about some CGI footage of a high council meeting featuring the faces of Oliver Reed, Laurence Olivier, Patrick McGoohan, Danny Dyer, Johns Guielgud and Mills, and any other iconic British actors from the past?

    I suspect it'll be a good film, but utterly hated by fans of the show. Even more than the established fact that he's half human is actually called "Doctor Who" and votes Tory.

  34. ThomH Silver badge

    Have you considered opening a Dr Who desk?

    This seems to be your third Who story in a week or so. Kudos.

    Like many above, Hugh Laurie would be my default choice, especially as I think there was pretty serious talk of House ending at the end of this year, making him available. Otherwise, maybe Ben Whishaw? He seems to be pretty good at just about everything. If they could get Eccleston back, even to play the character in a completely different way, I'd be very happy indeed.

    I can't think of any Americans that are suitable for the part, though I think that may just be that modern American film writing doesn't allow for a hero that's also the smartest person in the room. That'd be too elitist, right?

  35. Vic

    I always thought Tim Curry would make a good Doctor

    ... But he's probably a bit old for the audience they're trying to attract.

    Vic.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      I always thought Tim Curry would make a good actor. Still waiting.

  36. Robin 1

    Worrisome

    "He praised Davies' and Moffat's concepts, but said: "[W]e have to put that aside and start from scratch"."

    Can't agree with that. The new series has been brilliant and drawn a lot of new fans to the show. Seems to me he just wants to have his own way rather than produce what's worked so far.

  37. Juan Inamillion
    Joke

    What about....

    Lemmy?

    He never takes prisoners....

    /coat

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Give it to Arnie!

    We need a big hitter to be taken seriously by the american audience. I reckon Arnold Swartzenegger has the neccessary gravitas for the role. And he has experience of all that time travel and stuff.

  39. Tom 38 Silver badge

    Left field opinion

    Get Andy Serkis in, do it all with motion capture and overlay constantly fluxing CGI versions of Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee, Tom Baker, Davison, Colin Baker, McCoy, Eccleston, Tennant and Smith.

    Fuck McGann tho, he can go spin.

    1. Steven Roper

      Have you seen Arnie lately?

      It ain't the 1980s anymore mate, unfortunately. All those steroids have kinda taken a toll over the intervening years...

      Tempus fugit and all that, you know.

  40. James Gosling

    Please God!

    Please God, not an American playing Doctor Who!

  41. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge

    A Yank perspective

    While I don't know who would be best for the role I, speaking AS an American, agree totally with "NOT an American playing the Doctor" sentiment.

    What I DO recommend is Wayne Pygram (channelling Scorpius) to play The Master.

    I am deeply concerned that this will be such an extreme departure from what we all know as the Who universe as to be unrecognizable crap that irreparably damages the "brand."

    1. MrT

      Wayne Pygram...

      +5 for that suggestion.

      Aeryn Sun as well, please.

  42. scrubber
    Pint

    Brits with American accents

    Andrew Lincoln

    Idris Elba

    Christian Bale

    Chiwetel Ejiofor

    Clive Owen

    Lennie James

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not...

    Since Terrance Dicks, Philip Hinchcliffe and Paddy Russel are all still alive, putting together a team who know what they are doing.

  44. Jolyon Smith
    Coat

    If it's a "reboot", as is so trendy these days...

    ... and if it is to remain within the canon, then they should really start with an old actor (a la Hartnell), allowing them to progressively recast with younger actors over the years that I am sure they anticipate the new movie series to run.

    In that age bracket I'd toss in Lee or McKellen as ideal choices.

    Other perhaps less likely options to include: Charles Dance or even (to complete mind-f*ck the fans) Tom Baker as a new FIRST Doctor (a title that he already holds imho, despite his sequential designation as 4th).

    Sonic screwdriver in the pocket.

  45. AndrewG

    Paul McGann

    Minus the atrocious wig this time of course. Or failing that..Hugh Laurie because he should all be housed out by that time

  46. Charlie van Becelaere
    Pint

    Right -

    Here are your choices then:

    Gary Oldman,

    John Cleese,

    Richard Hammond (with Jeremy Clarkson as his companion - killed off in the first scene),

    Morgan Freeman,

    Bob Hoskins,

    Christopher Walken, or

    Sean Connery

    That should cover it.

    Thanks.

    1. Petrea Mitchell
      Boffin

      Wrong!

      If you want your next Doctor to come from Top Gear, James May is the obvious choice!

  47. Robert E A Harvey
    Coat

    Only one choice

    Sir Ian McKellen

    http://files.funshare.me/2011-09-17/ian-mckellen/gandalf-and-magneto.jpg

    Mine's the stonewall one...

  48. Inachu
    WTF?

    PLEASE PLEASE LISTEN TO ME!

    What ever you do please Keep the doctor with the accent.

    Do not kill the doctors voice like that did with that latest James Bond character who to me looks more like a Russian than anything bred inside europe.

    So....

    A. Keep him with a european accent!

    B. Keep him true to the past functions as that of the past doctors.

    C. Do not call him THE DOCTOR if you are going to hire a 7 foot monster(or 4 feet)

    D. I would like to see the doctor exploring more rooms of the tardis! Would be nice to have a full VRML or CAD file of the tardis and export it to a shooting game.

    E. Make sure when the movie is complete it opens everywhere at the same time on planet earth and not some lame 6 month or 1 year waiting period before it shows in other countries.

    F. There is no F.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Regarding point E.

      Bittorrent will take care of that issue, methinks.

  49. Darren Barratt
    Trollface

    ...reimagining

    Ok, so the Doctor has regenerated as an american teen, but can't remember who he is. He comes to terms with the strange, fragmented memories he starts to get by singing in their glee club.

    and it should have sexy vampires.

  50. Medium Dave
    Pint

    Warwick Davies as the doctor...

    ...with Martin Freeman & Kate Beckinsale as assistants.

    Villans:

    Captain Cyborg as Davros (Saves on prosthetics),

    Alan Rickman as the Master,

    Billy Connoly as the voices of the Cybermen.

    1. Some Beggar
      Happy

      Do you have a newsletter to which I might subscribe?

  51. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Before belittling the "American Threat" to the purity of the vision, one should check out the two existing Dr Who films and see what (mis)casting Van Helsing aka Grand Moff Tarkin as The Doctor did to the franchise before most of you were born.

    Also - Bernard Cribbins. Heads should have rolled.

    1. graeme leggett

      they are Dalek films, the Doctor is incidental

      The poster of the film has the words "Dr Who and" about half the area of the letter D in "Daleks"

      And produced by a pair of Yanks - Rosenberg and Subotsky.

  52. Wombling_Free
    Megaphone

    Paul Darrow FTW

    Oh, sorry, I was daydreaming there.

    I thought they might want someone good. Carry on.

    actually..... JULIAN CLARY!

    SORTED.

  53. Petrea Mitchell
    Meh

    Bill Nighy or Bob Hoskins

    If you're going to get me interested in watching any Who produced this century, my first demand is to see another oldish, crotchety Doctor.

  54. Delbert

    Bovverd - not

    So a big screen production of a classic TV show? any actor with two brain cells to rub together will know what Hollywood's track record is and also the expression 'bad career move' which leaves Steve Martin who is really very good at burying classic TV and Movies without a trace the perfect murder!

    Funny thought though the Dr has always been idiosyncratic a little odd or off the wall crazy ...and I understand Mr Charlie Sheen is available

  55. Stephane
    Childcatcher

    As soon as I saw the article it made me remember this web comic. And I even saw Jason Statham mentioned in the comments :)

    http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20100702

  56. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    "In Development"

    Means nothing. No money, no script, no crew, etc. Countless Doctor Who movies have been in development, some of which even got as far as having scripts attached to them as well as directors (one early 90's effort even claimed to have Leonard Nimoy attached to direct). Still didn't get made.

    It's a long and hard journey (thankfully) to the silver screen. Presumably all this so called "announcement" means is that someone is trying to drum up some money to develop the idea further. Even that alone will take years.

    Basically believe it when they start shooting.

  57. Mark Rendle

    Robert Carlyle...

    ...would not take any shit from Daleks.

    Or do it as an animation and get Seth MacFarlane to do the voice.

  58. Mips
    Childcatcher

    Jude Law

    No? How about Russell Grant?

  59. JDX Gold badge

    If you want yank-friendly brits...

    What about Eddie Izzard? He's also a loon.

  60. Super Fast Jellyfish
    Holmes

    Who?

    I think your take on who would make the best Doctor depends on which one you grew up with. For me early Tom Baker (so many classics - Talons of Weng Chiang or Pyramids of Mars to name just two but that's as much to the writing as the acting). However to draw in the audiences it would have to take into account the rebooted series. But please spare me the Daleks - at least the fat New ones.

    Its more likely to be like the original film (which at least took itself seriously unlike the sequel), which isn't a problem if it plays a little with the canon to get people who've never seen the TV series in (maybe then they'll watch the tv series - unlikely tho', they're more likely to get confused).

    So, famous-ish actor but with no current link to Dr Who. Not too young so adults would also go not just kids and teens (not sure how you'd make it poplar with the non-tween age group (and no it doesn't need gratuitousness sex to get there). Obvious then, Russell Crowe.

    1. Grease Monkey

      "famous-ish actor but with no current link to Dr Who"

      Actually that's one of the places I see a potential problem. Who has usually got away without using big name actors in the main role. If they do use a big name I fear that the film will become a vehicle for that actor rather than a Doctor Who film. And they're always going to go for a name in this sort of film because they wan't the box office draw that comes with it. Particularly in regions where the Who brand is not going to provide that draw on its own.

      Look at what happened when they put Ecclestone in the role. Quite a name in the UK with a reputation for playing dour agressive notherners. And how did he play it? As a dour agressive northerner with a touch of Bruce Willis' vest and a horribly clashing overlay of whimsy. IOW an Ecclestone vehicle with only the slightest nod to what had gone before. Indeed some have suggested that Eccleston was using the series to try to make a name for himself as more of a blockbuster actor. Whatever the cause Chris was not a convincing Who.

      Tennant was more of a known name than other Doctors, but he wasn't a big star and at least he had something of a history of playing eccentrics that suited him to the Doctor. Go right back to Campbell in Takin' Over the Asylum. So even though Who with the team of RTD, Tranter and Tennant was always going to be something of a Tennant vehicle at least Tennants previous character roles would have suited the Doctor. Yes there was too much emotion in the character, but that's RTD for you. I just felt that he played it a little too much Casanova, but overall it was pretty good.

      Given the working relationship between Tennant and Tranter I have a horrible feeling that they might want to put Tennant back in the role. Not that I don't like Tennant, I do, but I feel that doing that would damage the brand as it would weaken the position of whoever happens to be the TV Doctor by the time the film is released.

  61. Lamont Cranston

    Either their going to reboot Doctor Who,

    thus throwing all the established (dis)continuity out of the window, or they could pick up where the last film left off.

    I vote for option B, and would love to see Paul McGann returned to the role.

    1. Grease Monkey

      Erm, the McGann thing wasn't a film per se. It was supposedly a feature length episode with an option on a new series to follow. In light of how bloody terrible it was I was very glad the option was not taken up.

      Likewise the first two films were disasters. Quite appart from their being terrible films, the whole "reimagining" was nonsense. The idea of the lead character being a human being who happened to be a Doctor who's surname was Who was truly ridiculous.

      I actually think the idea of the proposed film is fundamentally flawed. It could have worked back in 2004 before the new Who came along, but we are now six series back in. The series is firmly established in the public consciousness. Any film that is not part of the canon will no doubt be seen as disapointing by fans of the series. And any fans who are introduced to the series by the film will no doubt find the series disappointing as it will have little connection with the film. As such it can only dilute the brand.

      Unfortunately I don't see anybody having any reason to make this film other than trying to make money in the short term. Just because somebody wants to pay for the movie rights that doesn't mean the BBC should sell them - they need to think of the long term strengh of the brand rather than making a quick buck. Badly managed something like this could harm the brand and kill the goose that laid the egg in the first place.

      Likewise just because Who is a huge hit on British TV and a minor hit elsewhere that does not mean it's popularity will translate into big cinema audiences. Obviously any project like this is going to end up being big budget. There's no way they can take it back to the sparseness of the sixties given the way the series has developed. Yes there have been lower budget episodes in the new who, but much as I loved Blink I don't see that sort of story being a big box office draw. Any Doctor Who film these days will be big on action, effects and budget. As such it's going to have to have big audiences to make any money. TBH, much as I love the Doctor old and new (with the exception of the 7th and 8th Doctors) I can't see it doing big box office. And again I don't think that would be good for the brand.

  62. Grease Monkey

    "Tranter was the BBC's controller of fiction between 2006 and 2008, so she oversaw much of the television reboot of Doctor Who under Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat."

    Since Who came back in 2005 and must have been in the pipeline for at least a year before that the above sentence makes no sense. IOW the controller of fiction for the making of the 2005 and 2006 series (or at least the commissioning and writing of the 2006 series) was not Tranter. I would have said that by the time Tranter took that particular seat the reboot was pretty much complete.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well...

    For a name that is big in America, and the UK, how about Orlando Bloom, I think he could be quite believeabe as a regenerated doctor, especially if this is a start from scratch, which I assume means going back to the end of the original series, rather than just re-making Dr Who and the Daleks, or Daleks 2150AD...

    Just a few thoughs :)

  64. JesterMedia

    Surely, given the Director's previous it's got to be a new 'grown-up' vehicle for Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson or Rupert Ginge? Emma Watson as the Doctor with the Ginger one as her assistant and Daniel Radcliffe playing the voice of K9. How could it fail to be box office Gold?

  65. prolificjones
    Happy

    Bill Bailey should be the new Doctor... hands down

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