Moffat Turns Down Spielberg & Tintin

Some are calling it a great display of passion and integrity, others an act of minor lunacy.

Steven Moffat has turned down a $1 million movie deal with Steven Spielberg so he could take on his dream job of running the British international hit sci-fi series “Doctor Who” says The Daily Mail.

The BAFTA-winning scriptwriter, who created such shows as “Coupling” and “Jekyll”, had signed a $2 million contract to write the first two scripts for a trilogy of “Tintin” films that Spielberg and Peter Jackson are directing.

Moffat completed the first one just before the writers’ strike hit and he couldn’t start on the next. During the strike he was offered the “Doctor Who” job and accepted immediately.

Moffat, taking over for Russell T. Davies who has been in charge of the show since its revival in 2005, has penned the most acclaimed episodes of the new show’s first four seasons so far – thus his eventual hiring had long been set in place before the offer officially came.

As the show is very demanding, Moffat felt he couldn’t handle both projects at once and so had to drop one. Spielberg himself, a big fan of the show, “understood my passion for the series completely” says Moffat and let him out of the contract.

It’s a bold move – the job as ‘Who’ producer involves not only a lot more work but a paycheck only about 30% of that which he’d get for penning the second “Tintin” script.

Yet the show has been an ambition of Moffat’s since he was a kid, and while not very well-known in the United States (then again neither is “Tintin”), an average new ‘Who’ episode reaches a global audience of about 250 million.

Moffat begins his ‘Who’ writing duties right away though his episodes won’t begin airing until March 2010.

It’s unsure now who’ll pen the second “Tintin” project which is slated to be directed by Peter Jackson sometime in 2009. Spielberg gets to work filming the Moffat-penned first film later this year.