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Harry Potter director David Yates is working with the BBC to bring Doctor Who to the big screen for the first time in more than four decades, Variety reports. The film is being targeted for release in 2013 or 2014.
“We’re looking at writers now. We’re going to spend two to three years to get it right,” Yates, who helmed the last four Potter films, told the trade paper. “It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena.”
The feature won’t follow the current incarnation of the series, which stars Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor, and Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill as his human companions.
“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,” Yates said.
The longest-running science fiction show in the world, the adventures of the benevolent, regenerating alien who travels through time and space in a blue police box aired from 1963 to 1989, then lay dormant until it was revived in in 2005 by Davies. Two feature films, both retellings of television stories, were released in 1965 and 1966. Subsequent attempts to develop a Doctor Who feature were unsuccessful, although a television movie aired in 1996.
Yates will develop the film with Jane Tranter, BBC Worldwide’s executive vice president of programming and production, with whom he’s worked on such series as State of Play and The Way We Live Now. Tranter also oversaw the 2005 revival of Doctor Who.