Nov 14 2011 4:17pm

Doctor Who to be Rebooted for the Big Screen (Updated)

Not since the Time War has there been Doctor Who news that could alter the fabric of reality more than this. Variety is reporting that a big screen adaptation of Doctor Who is currently in the planning stages, with David Yates of Harry Potter directorial fame at the helm.

The Variety article points out that this silver screen version of the Time Lord and the TARDIS will be a full-on reboot, seemingly indicating any continuity from the show’s long history, or the Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat eras, will not necessarily have anything to do with this project. No writer for the project has yet to be confirmed, but Jane Tranter, who was involved with the 2005 relaunch of Doctor Who, seems to be involved at a production level.

Doctor Who has been adapted for the big  screen before. Two films starring Peter Cushing as a human character literally named “Doctor Who” were released in 1965 and 1966. Neither film is regarded as part of the Who canon, nor were they very well received. Will this new effort be good news for fans or will the good Doctor regenerate into Hollywood schlock? Either way, it is happening. And now, dare we ask the question: who will play the big screen Doctor?

Update: Doctor Who Magazine and BBC America have responded in... interesting ways.

Doctor Who Magazine has tweeted, “To those hearing Doctor Who movie rumours, it’s just the same rumours which have been going round for years. Nothing’s currently happening!”

The BBC America Twitter account has gone the opposite way, seemingly, tweeting: “DW film remains in development w/BBC Worldwide Prod. in LA. No script, cast, or production crew in place.”

More detailed updates are available at The Mary Sue.

Joseph Kingsmill
1. JFKingsmill16
Hollywood is touching this? I'm feeling a little sick.
Mark Rubeck
2. TigerChanter
I'm not just sick. I'm projectile vomiting!!!!! :(
Michael Grosberg
3. Michael_GR
Oh please please if make it so that either Hugh Laurie or Steven Fry is the Doctor! If it's ever greenlit, that is. Which I doubt.
Chris Lough
4. TorChris
The current wish up in the Tower is for James McAvoy to play the Doctor, with Michael Fassbender as his companion who is maybe okay almost definitely also Magneto.

"That remarkable metal doesn't through your entire body, does it, Dalek?"
Dr. Thanatos
5. Dr. Thanatos
For completeness sake, we should acknowledge the 1989 TV movie with someone as the Doctor and Eric Roberts as The Master.

I think in the hands of someone who takes the material seriously Hollywood could do a good job; not all Hollywood films have been bad adaptations.

Certainly if we sent some Daleks in pinstripe suits and violin cases to the producers to keep them on the straight and narrow...

mental image: Dalek Guido and Dalek Vinnie telling Hollywood Mogul "Nice studio that you have here. It would be a shame if it were to be exterminated. Do you know what I mean?"
Rowan Shepard
6. Rowanmdm3
I'm vacilating between abject terror and tenative acceptance. I'm tending more to apathy until they are actually filming. So much could happen that would derail the project at this point.
Joseph Kingsmill
7. JFKingsmill16
Somebody posted this somewhere else : "A fresh take on a character that has had eleven distinctly different incarnations... Seriously?"

Imagine a Michael Bay infulenced Whoverse. He'd be delerious with the thought of raising the bar of his incoherent plotlines with the posibilities of time travel.
Dr. Thanatos
8. LadySakai
Nooooo Abort Abort .... RUN !!!!!! Hollywood will ruin this gem !!! the Brits needs to trust their unique skills for making movies/series. I think Im gonna cry :(
Paul Lewandowski
9. Snowkestrel
"Oh, and here's the best part", said the Big Hollywood Producer, as the studio board looked on, visions of dollar-signs dancing in their heads, "This time, we make the Doctor...AN AMERICAN!!!!"
Dr. Thanatos
10. Puff the Magic Commenter
Jonah Hill as The Doctor, Miranda Cosgrove as his companion, and Bradley Cooper as The Master! w00t! WHO'S WITH ME!?

Hollywood Casting Director salary, please... ::stephen colbert grabby hand::
Dr. Thanatos
11. r2texas
So what? Someone has been "in production" on a movie of The Prisoner almost continuously since the mid-60's. Still no movie. And even if they do manage to cobble something together, it will either be good, in which case all of us DW geeks will be orgasmic with joy, or it will suck, and we will mock it and then go back to enjoying our videos of the REAL DW. I don't know any Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fans who quit loving and re-reading the books after the zarking awful movie came out. Besides, maybe in a movie, the doctor will be able to get laid. You know, every 900 years or so......
Bernadette Durbin
12. dexlives
Dr. Thanatos: You mean that movie that was theoretically set in San Francisco, one of the most recognizable cities in the world, and yet had a distinct lack of hills or Victorian architecture? And which apparently included a suburban freeway and a scientific building that was not the beautiful and distinctive California Academy of Sciences?

There were a lot of problems with that movie but that was one of the most grating to this native Californian.
Dr. Thanatos
13. r2texas
Dr. Thanatos--it was 1996, and Paul McGann played the 8th doctor. dexlives---yeah, I just watched the movie the other night. Stunningly un-SF--even this Texan caught that. It was filmed in British Columbia. Yes indeed there were a lot of problems in that movie--especially in light of it's obvious attempt to place itself within the DW canon by having Silvester McCoy portray the Dr. pre-regeneration. Like the bs about the Dr being "half-human on his mother's side." Just as a movie--all continuity issues aside--it was pretty lame. The character development of "the Asian child," as the Master refers to him, was preposterous. The kid goes from exchanging shots with rival gangsters to riding in the ambulance and waiting around at the hospital for the Doctor (why?). The medical stuff was pretty cheesy too. At least Will Sasso as the morgue attendent provided some (very) minor comic relief.
Admittedly, the movie was a made-for-TV, and not a Hollywood production, but if anything that should have made it more prone to credibility and adherence to the DW canon.
Dr. Thanatos
14. AlBrown
Just please don't make him American.
I would like for it to fit into the continuity, but if not, I suppose it could be a "Lost Tales" of a Doctor the rest of us never heard of, so it doesn't muck up the continuity. After all, there was a long, unexplained gap between Doctor 8 and Doctor 9. Doctor 8.1 anyone?
Dr. Thanatos
15. Puff the Magic Commenter
Seriously, though, why is anyone remotely concerned about this? David Yates just helmed the most British of Hollywood blockbusters ever for most of the last decade. I think we can trust he's got this one.

(Also seriously: It's time for The Doctor to be older again. I vote for Rickman.)
Dr. Thanatos
16. Dr. Thanatos
Puff: I like the idea.

But how about Snape-Rickman as the Doctor vs Die-Hard-Rickman as The Master?
Dr. Thanatos
17. Galadriel
(Am posting my comments below on every site I visit...)
Why do I hate this terrible, money-grubbing, Who-disrespecting idea? Mainly, two words: DAVID YATES. I hate his directing, and I'm not the only one! We can only imagine how infinitely better the last four Potter movies would have been without him in charge. No Dumbledore funeral... no phoenix song... chopped-up, confusing storylines that say "@#$% you" to moviegoers who haven't read the Potter books... I could go on and on. A good Who movie would need Davies, Moffat, and Tennant WRITING AND DIRECTING it!!! I'd even be fine with Gaiman writing and Cuaron directing!!
Dr. Thanatos
18. Mysterium
RTD has written some gems, but I'd not trust him to write something this... big. (Those who know me know there is a rant I have just selected and deleted from this paragraph.)
It'd be interesting to have some fresh blood - not the old hands. Personally what Yates I know has been well handled. The music, however - who will do that? (Murray Gold was responsible for me keeping close attention after the reboot and his music has added a distinct flavour to the series. Will we keep that, or separate movie and series completely?)
In any case, I venture to say the following: Who has hopefully had its share of ick on the big screen. If this adaptation does not prove itself better than previous attempts, I will be very, very surprised.
Dr. Thanatos
19. a-j
With the best will in the world, I can't get worked up about this. As r2texas@11 points out, if it's good, we'll love it, if it's bad we'll ignore it, just as the Peter Cushing films are now.
btw, I have a soft spot for the films, especially the ponderously name Daleks - Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.. During the great dalek hiatus of the mid to late 1970's, they were the only dalek action available.
Kristen Templet
20. SF_Fangirl
I've seen the Cushing Doctor Who movies on late night TV years ago. I recall them being okay; although, I don't recall his being human so maybe I didn't catch that bit since I already knew the Doctor's backstory. They remakes of "real" Doctor Who serials I'd already seen on PBS, but I was happy enough for a another pretty good sci fi movie.

I do wonder why though? The modern TV series is chugging along nicely. Why does it need a movie while the TV series is in production?
Ian Johnson
21. IanPJohnson
SF_Fangirl @20: There's a crapload of money to be made.

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