David Yates, the director of the last four “Harry Potter” movies, is turning his attentions to another British cultural institution – “Doctor Who”. Yates and the BBC are teaming up to turn the sci-fi TV series into a big budget feature film franchise.
Since wrapping work on “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two”, Yates has been developing numerous other projects as his potential next feature including a film adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Stand”. The new ‘Who’ film however looks to have joined the fray but will be a while off as he admits it’s going to take time to get things right.
“We’re looking at writers now. We’re going to spend two to three years to get it right. It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena” Yates tells Variety as he and BBC Worldwide Productions head Jane Tranter are teaming to develop the feature.
The show of course is one of the longest running series in the history of television and follows a Time Lord known as The Doctor who travels through time and space with various human companions (mostly good looking young women) taking on various villains like The Daleks, The Cybermen and The Master.
Running from 1963 to 1989, the show went on hiatus until writer/producer Russell T. Davies revived it in 2005. The show is recognised by Guinness as the most successful science fiction series of all time in terms of sales and ratings and is one of the most lucrative global TV brands on the market.
In a surprise move though, the film will NOT be a part of the continuity of the current series it would seem – rather this will be a completely fresh approach to the material.
“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. 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” says Yates.
Peter Cushing starred as a variation of the character in two previous theatrical features in the mid-60’s, films which aren’t considered a part of the main series continuity.
Matt Smith currently stars as the eleventh incarnation of The Doctor on the small screen and is expected to hold the role for at least another full season.