Russell T Davies has denied rumours that Hollywood actor Johnny Depp is being lined up to star in a big-budget movie version of Doctor Who.
Earlier this month, Torreported that a story had appeared on article mill, PubArticles, claiming that a feature-film version of the popular BBC science-fiction television drama series was being developed by Davies, the Torchwood showrunner, for a Summer 2012 release. The article went on to claim that Depp “has been confirmed to play the part of time traveling Doctor Who [sic] in the big screen treatment of the same name”.
Although, io9 claimed a few days later that the BBC had told them that all talk of a Who movie was “pure speculation”, no official statement was made denying the rumours.
Now, however, in an interview in the new issue of SFX magazine, Davies says:
"Johnny f***ing Depp! Do you know what my life is these days? Someone sits in New Zealand, types out a f***ing rumour and I spend the next three days dealing with that rumour. What I get then is BBC Publicity e-mailing me, BBC Films publicity, BBC Wales publicity, all saying, 'Have you said this?' That then goes through BBC Worldwide and BBC America publicity, and I lose a fucking morning because of some chump typing shit! It drives me mad."
In the original Tor article, it was claimed that "[the Doctor's] mission is to journey through time and space with a crew of volunteers treating humanity's illnesses brought on by invading aliens. He cures the bubonic plague and then goes to Africa to fight Ebola"; to which Davies asks SFX, "What sort of a plot is that? Can you imagine? In fairness, whatever chump that was typing that had a bit of imagination. Bonkers!"
Davies is currently working on the fourth series of Torchwood, the Doctor Who spin-off he created while head writer and executive producer of the parent show. He has since handed over control of Who to Steven Moffat, the co-creator with Mark Gatiss of Sherlock. Sherlock – which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr Watson in a 21st-century reimagining of Arthur Conan Doyle's Victorian-era amateur sleuth – premiered, to critical acclaim, in the UK on BBC 1 last night.
Prior to transmission of the first episode, some sources claimed that Matt Smith, who plays the eleventh Doctor, would be leaving Doctor Who in 2011 to pursue his own career in Hollywood, and that Cumberbatch was being lined up to replace him. However, this was quickly denied by Moffat in an interview to BBC News: "There is no vacancy. Matt Smith is the Doctor and he's been an astonishing success and – who knows – maybe he'll never regenerate again."