I don’t know what’s taken so long, really. Warner Bros are bringing “Doctor Who” to the big screen – a series I remember being on for the most part of my life; Tom Baker’s incarnation is the one I recall best from my childhood – with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” helmer David Yates developing.
Variety got the scoop directly from Yates himself, who said he is about to start work on a film version of the BBC classic with Jane Tranter, head of L.A.-based BBC Worldwide Prods.
“We’re looking at writers now. We’re going to spend two to three years to get it right,” he said. “It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena.”
“The notion of the time-travelling Time Lord is such a strong one, because you can express story and drama in any dimension or time,” Yates said.
Yates said the film won’t have anything to do with the current TV series, nor will it feature the current Doctor Matt Smith.
“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,” he said.
Yates and Tranter are looking for writers on both sides of the Atlantic.
“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 American writers too,” he explained.
You may remember the BBC did an ill-fated 1996 “Doctor Who” telemovie starring Eric Roberts; this is sure to be a tad better.
Meantime, Deadline says Yates is being courted for “Imitation Game”, a “Graham Moore-scripted drama about Alan Turing, the genius and WWII hero who poisoned himself with a cyanide laced apple after being criminally prosecuted for being a homosexual.”