A few months back it was reported that director David Yates would follow up his work on the closing installment in the blockbuster Harry Potter feature film series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, with an adaptation of Stephen King’s epic post-apocalyptic novel, The Stand, only for Yates to turn down the opportunity as the project passed into the hands of actor-turned-director Ben Affleck. Instead, Yates will turn his attention to the British sci-fi institution Doctor Who, with Variety announcing that the filmmaker has signed a deal with the BBC to bring the time-travelling Gallifreyan to the big screen for the first installment of a potential movie franchise.
“We’re looking at writers now. We’re going to spend two to three years to get it right,” said Yates, who went on to explain that the new version would bear no connection to classic BBC television series: “It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena… Russell T Davies [Queer as Folk] and then Steven Moffat [The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn] have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch. 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.”
The mysterious Doctor made his first appearance on television screens back in 1963 under the guise of William Hartnell, with the series going on to achieve cult status as actors such as Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison and Colin Baker stepped in to portray the time-traveller. The axe finally fell in 1989 as Sylvester McCoy finished his run as the Seventh Doctor, while a made-for TV British / American co-production was released in 1996 with Paul McGann in the role. Writer Russell T Davies rebooted the series for the BBC in 2005, with Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant taking on the character before the current incarnation, Matt Smith, began his run in 2010. However, the big-screen adaptation will bear no relation to the current television series, meaning a new actor follow in the footsteps of Peter Cushing, who starred in two feature films – Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., back in the mid-1960s.
So then, who would you like to see taking on the iconic character for the movie version?