November 15, 2011 by staff
David Yates, the director of the last four Harry Potter films and TV drama State of Play, told US entertainment industry trade magazine Variety that he has started work on a feature film adaptation of the sci-fi drama with BBC Worldwide, the corporation’s commercial arm.
But fans of the current Doctor, Matt Smith, could be disappointed, as Yates said that the film would be “quite a radical transformation” from the latest BBC1 series which ended in October.
Yates and the BBC also cautioned that the project remains in the early stages of development, with no script or cast, and will not reach cinemas for several years.
“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.”
Yates also suggested that the film would not be written by either Russell T Davies, responsible for successfully bringing Doctor Who back to TV in 2005, or Steven Moffat, who replaced him as showrunner and lead writer in 2009.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
A BBC spokesman said: “A Doctor Who feature film remains in development with BBC Worldwide Productions in Los Angeles.
“The project is unlikely to reach cinemas for several years and as yet there is no script, cast or production crew in place.”
Variety magazine reported that Yates is working on the film with Jane Tranter, the Los Angeles-based head of the BBC’s Worldwide Productions. Tranter oversaw the show’s return to BBC1 in 2005 as the corporation’s drama controller.
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