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article imageHarry Potter director working on Doctor Who film

By Mathew Wace Peck     Nov 15, 2011 in Entertainment
Following on from his work on the Harry Potter movies, Hollywood director David Yates has announced that he is turning his attention to Doctor Who.
David Yates directed the last four movies of the Harry Potter franchise, the last of which, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part Two, was released this summer.
It has long been rumoured that the BBC is developing a film version of their flagship science-fiction TV series, which is due to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2013.
In an interview with Daily Variety, Yates confirmed that he is working with the BBC to develop a feature film. In the interview, he praised Doctor Who’s former head writer, Russell T Davies (Torchwood), and his successor, Steven Moffat (The Adventures of Tintin), for their updating of the series, but indicated that in order for it to transfer successfully to the cinema, another overhaul of the franchise would be needed.
Yates said: “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.”
The Hollywood director said that they were currently looking for writers for the project, and added that they wanted to retain the show’s Britishness. “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 [British and] American writers.”
BBC News reports that “Yates is […] working with the head of LA-based BBC Worldwide Productions, Jane Tranter.” Before moving to LA, to head the BBC’s operations there, Tranter was the controller of BBC1, the British TV channel that commissions Doctor Who from BBC Cymru. Together with Julie Gardner – another former Doctor Who executive producer – Davies works alongside Tranter in the States.
In 2010, it was claimed that Davies had himself written a Doctor Who movie script and that Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean) had agreed to take on the iconic role of the Doctor. However, shortly afterwards, Davies denied the claims as nonsense.
The Doctor in LA
Last night, a BBC spokesperson said: “A Doctor Who feature film remains in development with BBC Worldwide Productions in Los Angeles. [However, the] project is unlikely to reach cinemas for several years and as yet there is no script, cast or production crew in place.”
The very first episode of Doctor Who was broadcast in the UK on Saturday, 23 November, 1963, and starred William Hartnell as the First Doctor. To date, eleven actors have portrayed the alien Time Lord on television, with Matt Smith the current lead.
Three films have already been produced: Dr. Who & the Daleks (1965) and Daleks – Invasion Earth 2140 AD (1966), which both starred Peter Cushing as the Doctor, and Doctor Who (1996), starring Paul McGann.
In October, John Barrowman – who plays Captain Jack Harkness in the TV series and also in its spin-off Torchwoodtold RTÉ Ten that he’d be interested in appearing in a movie version, as long as David Tennant reprised his role as the Tenth Doctor.
Doctor Who returns to television screens at Christmas for a one-off festive episode written by Moffat. Smith will be joined by a new companion, Madge Arwell, played by Claire Skinner (Outnumbered).
More about BBC, Doctor Who, david yates, Harry potter, Matt smith
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