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Steven Moffat Squelches Rumors About Doctor Who Movie

The announcement last month by Harry Potter director David Yates that he’s developing a Doctor Who movie — one made “from scratch,” independent of the current version of the TV series — was met with largely negative reaction from fans, and confusion from some corners of the BBC.

But fear not, Whovians, showrunner Steven Moffat insists that’s not going to happen.

“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,” he wrote last night on Twitter. “David Yates, great director, was speaking off the cuff, on a red carpet. You’ve seen the rubbish I talk when I’m cornered.”

That settles that, right? Well … Moffat presumably was referring to this MTV report, posted yesterday, from the BAFTA Los Angeles 2011 Britannia Awards where Yates was, yes, speaking on the red carpet. “I can’t really talk about that because its such a long way away,” the director said. “We’re principally looking for a writer, and we’ll start with that. Everything has to start with a great script, so that’s more important than [casting].”

Still, it’s pretty difficult to dismiss the director’s earlier comments to Variety as “off the cuff,” considering he was pretty specific in naming BBC Worldwide executive Jane Tranter, not to mention a target release date.

Moffat went even further, however, telling The Register, “There simply are no developed plans for a Doctor Who movie at the moment. […] If, and when, the movie happens it will need to star television’s Doctor Who – and there’s only ever one of those at a time. And it would need to come out of the same production operation that makes the series. Doctor Who is a vitally important BBC brand with a huge international audience and not even Hollywood can start this one from scratch. So sorry if there’s been any confusion, but on the plus side it has reminded us all what an exciting prospect this could be.”

It seems like only one of these men can be right: Either Yates is living in a fantasy world in which he believes he’s bringing the Time Lord to the big screen, or someone at the BBC is making Who plans without Moffat’s knowledge.

I know which option I’m hoping for.

(via Blastr)


  • Nicola Boden

    I don’t fear at all. If Yates can do this and do it well while bringing a whole new audience to the show more power to him. This article is shamelessly bias

  • Cdpaoli

    Yea, most of my friends that are into Dr Who (including me) thought the idea of a spinoff with a new Doctor and storyline was a great idea. Gets many unfamiliar with the show interested, and, really, it’s how the show works anyway. I really didn’t read that many negative comments about the idea online.

  • Janapood

    Does Doctor Who, apparently increasing in popularity now, really need a boost from a movie outside of the existing story? The previous movie was done when there was no TV Doctor so he is the 8th Doctor. This would be very different. Either the new movie Doctor would be outside of the whole Doctor Who timeline or he/she would be . . . what? The 12th? Then Matt Smith would HAVE to regenerate into that Doctor. Same with any other number. Why not come up with something original but similar? What’s wrong with originality?

  • Nicole Lindsay

    Shia LaBeouf, Anton Yelchin, Zac Efron or an actor from Gossip Girl as the Doctor

  • SeanTheComicGuy

    Why not bring the tried and true formula to the big screen for worldwide exposure instead of letting Hollywood do another horrible reboot? This article is not shamelessly biased. Its shamelessly correct. I would not support any Hollywood reboot of this franchise. I hope Moffat can save it from the powers that be.

  • SeanTheComicGuy

    Gossip Girl? Are you serious? What are you, 12?

  • ChrisIII

    While Moffat’s first ( the fifth) season and his RTD scripts were good, season six was kind of dissiapointing and the ratings were not so good. Reportedly there are some tensions between him and the BBC at this point, especially over this planned film. There doesn’t seem to be a problem with Smith, however, and I hope he stays, even if they have to get a new producer.

  • Jorell Rivera

    First Rule: The Moffat Lies.

    Having said that, I would have to believe him in this case.  I can see a film being made to either close out Matt Smith’s time as The Doctor, or to introduce the next one.  I can also see Yates directing a film starring the 12th Doctor’s first adventure, with Moffat (or whoever will be the showrunner in 2-3 years) writing it.  Doctor Who continues to gain in popularity, and I would love to see a film capitalize on that.

  • Mrmoto66

    Vomit vomit vomit and absolutely Not

  • develish1

    okay, now I’m really confused, he’s claiming there’s no truth to it, but the BBC themselves, on the DW website state

    “We can confirm that a Doctor Who feature film remains in development with BBC Worldwide Productions in Los Angeles”

  • Anonymous

    Hardly bias, perhaps in the final comments, but not as a whole. Also, I’m all for a film being made, but not a reboot.

  • Mark_whittington0607

    Really I’ve not spoken to one person, real life friend or anonymous Internet entity who thought it was a good idea.

  • Fremgen

    Moffat’s comment smells like spin to me.  I’d bet the movie is in the works, but very early in the works and Moffat doesn’t want to scare people.

    Plug-  Please read my comic:

  • Neonranger14

    As much as I love moffat for what he has done for the Doctor Who franchise, it is really disheartening to hear him be so dismissive. As much as I would love a big budget Doctor Who movie, it is too unrealistic a dream. It took me months to catch up to continuity. I watched every episode of the rebooted series to right now on netflix, and that doesn’t include any of the eork featuring doctors 1-8!

    There is no realistic way to do a Doctor Who movie with any sort of continuity because there is just too much of it. Non whovians would be totally left out, and that isn’t fair. A reboot is not a bad idea, but it seems like the fact that it could potentially be done by “Hollywood” seems to be upsetting a lot of people.

    I am the first to admit hollywood has screwed some movies up, but it successes far outweigh its failures. Let me put it this way; if you want a doctor who movie, be more open minded, or it probably won’t happen.

  • Jacob

    I’m going to go ahead and call bullshit on that second paragraph. There are plenty of ways to a Doctor Who movie in the main continuity. The series does one-off episodes all the damn time. The movie would just need to be one of those. Know which Doctor has a lot of unexplored time? The Eighth. Which Doctor’s have been in canon movies? The Eighth. Doing a movie set during his time would be perfect. And if they felt like it, they could even end the movie series with his regeneration.

  • Jacob

    I think it’s a good idea.

  • Shawn

    Maybe they plan on doing a Doctor Who movie with the 12th Doctor without telling us he’s going to be the 12th Doctor until the end. Or something like that.

  • Nicola Boden

    The start as well ‘Fear Not Whovians’. A lot of us aren’t that concerned.

    I wouldn’t take Moffat as the authority on this. Shocking as it may seem. I don’t think he has a clue what BBC Worldwide are doing in LA and is setting up his stall opposing this feature which won’t happen until he’s gone anyway. (which is probably why they haven’t kept him in  the loop.) If you believe Private Eye things are frosty between the BBC and Moffat anyway.

  • Guest

    Seems SM thinks, he’s in charge but he isn’t. Peter Yates isn’t a noname without knowledge of trademarks and licences. Someone must have offered him the franchise and eventually that’s been the BBC. Which kind of licences did Russe T Davies keep, when he left to the states, I wonder. I fear the Moffat-run will be shorter than I hoped and ends with the third season to make space for whatever new they’re planning to do. Did anyone say “reboot”? 

  • Mark_whittington0607

    If the series didn’t need a reboot to regain popularity after 16 years off the air, I doubt it needs one after 7 years of popularity.

  • The Pink Dalek

    Most peole think it is a rotten stinky idea. A new actor as a regen in continuity maybe but a film would hurt the series as a reboot. This is a bad bad bad bad idea. I want this inconsiderate jerk to stay away from Who. He just took a giant piss on the fans and creators of the series.