There has been a lot of speculation as to what director David Yates would work on now that he’s done capping off the Harry Potter franchise with four hugely successful films. He’s got a lot of offers on the table, a lot of irons in the fire, and up until this point it has mostly seemed like he would be able to choose whatever he wants to do. But that may no longer be the case. News coming out of Variety suggests that Yates isn’t going to be able to do whatever he wants to do…but whenever he wants to do.
That’s right, Yates is teaming up with the BBC to create a big budget, big screen, Big McLarge Huge version of everyone’s favorite Time Lord, Doctor Who. If you don’t know what Doctor Who is, then man you must really hate things that are British. When you talk about long-running TV shows, you’re talking about Doctor Who. Running all the way from 1963-1989 and then spawning a revival in 2005, Doctor Who is a science fiction show that concerns itself largely with rubber aliens, time-traveling police boxes, scarves, and David Tennant’s floppy hair. So far 11 different men have portrayed the Sonic Screwdriver wielding Doctor, and if Yates gets his way, this new film will introduce a 12th.
Fans of the current series shouldn’t fret though, what Yates has planned isn’t going to be connected to the beloved television series in any way. Instead, this will be a new approach to the Doctor designed to stand completely on its own. Seeing as Who is such a long enduring show with such a rabidly loyal fan base, Yates and company are seeing a big screen Who as an opportunity to launch a brand new franchise, something with name recognition that will pull in a lot of cash; but they understand that moving this universe from small screen to big isn’t going to be easy. The television series, especially back in its early days, is an extremely micro-budgeted affair, so it’s going to take a lot of thought to decide how to maintain the essence of the property but at the same time make it bigger and louder. To that end Yates says, “We’re looking at writers now. We’re going to spend two to three years to get it right. It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena.”
Despite the fact that this new version of the Doctor is meant to become a worldwide phenomenon, the new crew doesn’t plan on making him American or anything crazy. When speaking further about his writer search, Yates continued, “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.”
You know what that means, Internet, it’s time to start sending Yates and his BBC cohort Jane Tranter all of your Doctor Who fan-fiction that you still have stored on your hard drive from back when you were 13. This could be your chance to put your own stamp on the Whoverse and become a legend! Just remember, this is Hollywood, your script needs to be less Inspector Spacetime and more J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. And if you could get a big name actor to attach himself to your script, it wouldn’t hurt.