David Yates, director of the most recent four Harry Potter films

David Yates, director of the most recent four Harry Potter films

Last November we reported on director David Yate’s announcement that there was going to be a movie based on the Doctor Who franchise, but that the basis of Doctor Who was going to be expunged and completely recreated from the ground up for the grander scope that a motion picture would require.  We thought this suggested not that Doctor Who wasn’t sufficiently cinematic, but that Yates simply didn’t understand the material.

Steven Moffat, showrunner of the BBC sci fi show, has apparently decided that this silly nonsense has gone quite far enough.  As he explained to Entertainment Weekly:

“I don’t think [Yates] was ever signed to it… I never signed him, so he’s not.”

“I think he’s [expressed] an interest in doing it and he’s a very fine director, and I think he’d certainly be someone that would be on the list for directing such a project. I’m a big fan of his. But the project as he describes it would not happen.”

However, what Yates had said last November was this:

“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.”

This includes using a different actor as Doctor Who, and using American writers, and would completely discard the TV show’s continuity.  In other words, it would be almost, but not quite completely,unlike  Doctor Who.  However, Moffat, in the Entertainment Weekly interview, declared:

“That whole proposal was not true… I can say that with authority because, as far as the BBC is concerned, I’m the voice of Doctor Who. So if I say it, it’s true.  The BBC owns Doctor Who and, for the moment, I run it for them. So I can assure you definitively that was all nonsense – not the idea of making a film, we’d love to make a film, but the idea of a rebooted continuity, a different Doctor.”

“[Any future film] will be absolutely run by the Doctor Who production office in Cardiff,” he explained. “It will feature the same Doctor as on television. It will not be a rebooted continuity. All of that would be insane.”

Moffat also said that Mr. Yates had never been signed up to work on anything, although he had expressed an interest.

He added that there would “hopefully” be a film at some future date, starring whoever was playing the Doctor at the time.

We can breathe a sigh of relief.  The Doctor’s blood will not be on Yate’s hands any time soon.  What we can’t figure out is where Yates got this notion in the first place, and why he thought it was appropriate to announce a deal with the BBC that didn’t actually exist.

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