Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Showrunner Steven Moffat Says Any 'Doctor Who' Movie Won't Be 'A Hollywood Reboot,' Will Tie Into TV Series

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist December 2, 2011 at 10:47AM

One of the most surprising news stories of the year came a few weeks back, when it was announced that BBC Worldwide were teaming up with David Yates, director of the last four 'Harry Potter' films, to bring classic science-fiction character "Doctor Who" to the big-screen, in a version starting from scratch, and existing outside the continuity of the TV series, with a new actor in the lead role. More surprised than anyone? Steven Moffat, the head writer and executive producer of the current incarnation of the show.
4
Steven Moffat Doctor Who

One of the most surprising news stories of the year came a few weeks back, when it was announced that BBC Worldwide were teaming up with David Yates, director of the last four 'Harry Potter' films, to bring classic science-fiction character "Doctor Who" to the big-screen, in a version starting from scratch, and existing outside the continuity of the TV series, with a new actor in the lead role. More surprised than anyone? Steven Moffat, the head writer and executive producer of the current incarnation of the show.

The writer, who's just made his big-screen debut, sharing credit with Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish on "The Adventures of Tintin," was seemingly less than impressed by the announcement at the time, tweeting shortly after the news "Announcing my personal moonshot, starting from scratch. No money, no plna, no help from NASA. But I know where the moon is; I've seen it," and adding, when challenged by a fan that Yates would do a good job, "At going to the moon? I'd like to see him try." But since then, word has been quiet, both from Moffat and from Yates.

Until early this morning, that is, when the showrunner again took to Twitter to say, firstly, "To clarify: any Doctor Who movie would be made by the BBC team, star the current TV doctor and certainly NOT be a Hollywood reboot," before adding "Movie thing: David Yates, great director, was speaking off the cuff on a red carpet. You've seen the rubbish I talk when I'm cornered." This seems to shoot down the earlier report altogether, a firm denial that the project, should it come to pass, would start from scratch in the way that the original trade piece intimated. 

But there's clearly more going on behind the scenes here, and we're not quite sure what the truth is. British magazine Private Eye (via Bleeding Cool) wrote last week that the news breaking "was the first showrunner Steven Moffat had heard that negotiations had reached such a stage. A sticking point in Moffat’s negotiations over his hiring as Who supremo back in 2008 had been his concern about a mooted movie overshadowing his work on the TV series. So failing to give him any advance warning — not least because Yates spoke of the need for 'quite a radical transformation' which would 'start from scratch' — was, at the least, tactless. But then since very senior people at the BBC openly describe Motfat as 'a problem,' this may have been the idea.”

Moffat is also the co-creator and executive producer of another massive BBC hit "Sherlock," but the double duties have caused schedling woes, with delays on "Sherlock" and "Doctor Who" scripts reportedly meaning that the latter show won't be back on the air until next autumn -- presumably what led Private Eye's sources to call Moffat 'a problem.' Presumably, he's kicked up something of a fuss behind the scenes, and been given assurances by the BBC who are keen not to upset a key creative talent, but something doesn't quite ring true. Variety's original report certainly doesn't read as a panicked statement from Yates on a red-carpet.

With the director unlikely to make the film before 2014 or 2015, and Moffat seemingly creating more and more rifts at the BBC, it's possible that the showrunner may have moved on from the job by the time the film comes to pass. Alternatively, Moffat, aided by the substantial fan outcry after the initial announcement, may have managed to convince Yates & company to incorporate their big-screen idea into current continuity letting Matt Smith, or whoever next takes on the TV role, star in a movie.

Either way, Moffat, one of the all-time great writers on the show, who has led it to new, ambitious creative highs in the last few years, doesn't seem to have been treated well when it comes to the project, and we don't blame him for kicking up a fuss, even if we maintain that a film franchise could happily co-exist next to the TV series. Things are still pretty murky on the whole project, and short of a quick TARDIS trip to 2015, it doesn't seem like it'll become any clearer any time soon.

This article is related to: David Yates, Doctor Who, Steven Moffat


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates