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Steven Moffat Has A Few More Things To Say About David Yates’ Doctor Who Movie

Because Steven Moffat isn’t sure everyone has heard his thoughts on David Yates’ planned Doctor Who movie yet, he’s talking about it again. I swear, he’s almost saying, “Over my 13th regenerated body…” 

Late last year, we were astounded when Harry Potter director Yates revealed he was working on a Doctor Who movie saying it would need a “radical transformation” to bring the franchise to the big screen. He made it clear the film would not follow the television series and was working with Jane Tranter, BBC Worldwide’s L.A.-based exec VP of programming and production.

And then Moffat found out.

“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,” Moffat tweeted (while he was still on twitter).

But Moffat was recently asked by Vulture if it would ever happen. He said.

Well, first of all, when? We spend all year making the series. The thing that I would find intolerable is that you get a film instead of the TV series because the TV series is more important. And I don’t think any showrunner or future showrunner of Doctor Who would tolerate the idea that David Yates was talking about, of rebooting it and having a second continuity. That’s just nonsense. Absolutely insane and a straightforward insult to the audience. We’d never, ever do that. The question would be how could we do it without delaying or harming the TV show?

He doesn’t find a movie offensive though, “I think it could be incredibly exciting to see that Tardis fly on the big screen,” he said. “It would just be how do we arrange it? And how do we make sure we have … no offense, but you suddenly take American money and they expect to tell you what to do and all that. I wouldn’t be happy with that. But it will happen someday, I’m reasonably confident.”

So it seems Moffat would like to have a movie but has no intention of letting Yates get his hands on The Doctor. Yet the fact remains, the BBC America Twitter account wrote, “A Doctor Who feature film remains in development [with] BBC Worldwide Productions in Los Angeles. As of yet there is no script, cast or production crew in place.”

(via Blastr)

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  • Anonymous

    “In development” is a very elastic term. All it can be said to mean for sure is there’s a post it or index card on a wall marked “things we want to do”.

  • Avalyn

    Exactly… World of Warcraft the movie has been “in development” for what, 10 years?

  • Elwyne

    David Yates should never get his hands on DW. His Harry Potter movies are the worst of the series.

  • Nat

    I have so many issues with Moffatt I just rawr

  • Anonymous

    This. For someone who’s done his fair share of horrors to the series, I find it baffling that he feels so entitled of sounding so possessive of the series.

  • Amanda Weller

    I don’t think that there being a second continuity is insulting in the least. Given the fact that the show is about a series that is based on time travel and there are parallel worlds in said series, who’s to say that this movie couldn’t very well indeed be in a parallel world and have no effect on Moffat’s show, not that he should feel possessive over any of it considering i think he puts little thought into continuity in the first place.

  • Kifre

    Yeah….that’s the last of it. I cannot take anymore Moffat in my Dr. Who and won’t be watching the new stuff till he’s gone.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    If they do that, then it isn’t Doctor Who, now is it?

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Strangely, I don’t. But I’d rather him than Hollywood.

  • Laura Truxillo

    It doesn’t seem any more insulting than, say, there being Spider-man or Avengers movies that exist in a different continuity than the comics. Or to bring an impeachable example, Batman: The Animated Series doesn’t share the continuity of the Batman comic. Does one insult the other?

    (Only when they put Harley in that stupid corset outfit.)

    Moffat’s attitude here is smacking just a wee bit of Geoff Johns: “This thing may be a legacy property, passed down through dozens of writers through decades who came before me, but now I put my stamp on it AND I DON’T WANT ANYONE ELSE TO PLAY WITH IT!”

  • Alexander Hooley

    No thanks, we already have three long, crappy seasons of RTD/David Tennant to show us what happens when idiots try to turn Doctor Who into a pathetic aping of Hollywood genre flicks.

    On the other hand, this is obviously never going to happen so no biggie.

  • Anonymous

    As the comics world has shown, though, most companies don’t know enough to leave each one alone. Suddenly Agent Coulson “has to be” in the comics, or a random agent becomes Nick Fury Jr., etc., etc. That’d be my primary concern with a DW film — that the “American money” Moffat is worried about here would start making demands about “brand synergy” and such nonsense. I’m okay with a feature-film special episode, if we’re going to push for this. Otherwise I just don’t trust American corporate interests enough to even do a Parallel Doctor right.

  • Laura Truxillo

    As the comics world has also shown, when one or two dudes, by virtue of writing some good stories get enough power to Remake The Characters To Their Own Liking…bad things can also happen.

    But as he says, he’s not really against the idea of there being a movie, more against the idea of Anyone Else doing it.

    And personally, I am all for Agent Coulson being in the comics if it works and good stories come out of it. He’s a fun character. I like him in the movies; I like the doofier him we see in the doofier Ultimate Spider-Man; I like the foul-mouthed-but-placidly dogged Army Ranger we’ve seen so far in the comics. It’s not all that much different from the canon migration of Harley Quinn and Renee Montoya from the DCAU to the comic universe proper, and good gravy, am I glad that happened.

    But no, no American studios probably shouldn’t touch Doctor Who. Ever. (Isn’t that what happened for the 8th Doctor?)

  • Katie Miller

    Absolutely. What he is quoted as saying above actually sounds pretty reasonable, but more broadly I take issue with how Moffat takes on existing cultural icons, does his thing with them to better or worse effect (I personally love Sherlock, hate his DW, and have major issues with both), then acts as if he has ownership of a franchise that was already huge before he came along.

    He certainly did this with Sherlock – acting like a dick about ‘Elementary’ when it was in early production, because although he must understand he didn’t invent Sherlock Holmes, nor the idea of moving him to the modern day (see the Rathbone incarnation), he somehow has ownership of the franchise…?

    He’s pretty universally praised and I don’t know if that’s gone to his smug little brain, but even if you subscribe to the opinion that he’s a good runner for his shows, they were both great long before he was ever though of. Others can do what they want with the characters and he doesn’t have the right to act like an outraged creator.

  • Kim Pittman

    More like 5. The game has only been out for 8.

  • Anonymous

    In fairness, I tend to think Moffat is a *superb* writer when he has someone to ride herd on him. When he was writing episodes during the RTD era of Who, with RTD to sort of slap down his excesses, some of his episodes were among the best. When he’s working on Sherlock and has Mark Gatiss to balance him out, he’s also wonderful.

    Give him a blank check, however, and he seems to sort of go mad with power.

  • Anonymous

    Especially given that there *already was an entirely separate continuity*. Dr. Who (the movies starring Peter Cushing) is completely separate from Doctor Who (the television show, starring William Hartnell through Matt Smith), even though actual television-show production folks (notably Terry Nation) were involved.

    In the Dr. Who movies, Doc was a human scientist who invented a time machine and accidentally brought Dalek attention to humanity, so ends up fighting them across the storylines of the films. He had a reasonably large family since at least two granddaughters and one niece travel with him. (As a random bonus, one of human-Doc’s non-family companions—a police constable, Tom Campbell—was played by Bernard Cribbins, who later played Donna’s grandfather Wilfred Mott in main-continuity Who.)

  • Brian

    Make it an adaptation of “Life, The Universe, and Everything”, which started as a Doctor Who script. Make Slartibartfast the Doctor, like he was meant to be, Arthur and Trillian become Rory and Amy, and Zaphod becomes Captain Jack. Marvin stays Marvin. I am a genius.

  • FinalOwen

    No showrunner of Doctor Who would ever allow a reboot of continuity on the big screen? Moffat must have forgotten about Verity Lambert. Under her watch, there was a big screen reboot of Doctor Who that threw out continuity completely. And honestly, the Peter Cushing movies were better than most Moffat episodes of late…

  • Spencer Mardis

    Exactly. And we all remember what Voldemort looked like from Goblet of Fire onwards, don’t we? Pathetic.

  • Sam Slack

    Thank you! I would never let Yates near the Doctor Who movie!!! He killed the HP movies he directed. His whole, why would you want to see what you read comment was just ridiculous.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not the biggest Moffat fan (more of a RTD girl myself), but I have to back him up on this: David Yates better stay away from DW!