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Harry Potter director takes on Doctor Who movie

Tardis to spin into theatres, but who will be the Doctor?

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Boy wizard director David Yates is planning to take Doctor Who onto the big screen in conjunction with the BBC.

Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter films, has told Variety that he's about to start developing a Doctor Who movie with Jane Tranter, the head of LA-based BBC Worldwide Productions.

Tranter was the BBC's controller of fiction between 2006 and 2008, so she oversaw much of the television reboot of Doctor Who under Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat.

Yates has already said that the movie won't be carrying on from the current TV series, which stars Matt Smith as the 11th incarnation of the Doctor and is shown on BBC America as well as in the UK.

He praised Davies' and Moffat's concepts, but said: "[W]e have to put that aside and start from scratch".

"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."

Yates and Tranter should be capable of giving the film an English favour, but the director did say that they were looking for writers in the US as well as the UK, which could be a bit worrisome for many Doctor Who fans, including the ones here at El Reg.

"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," Yates said.

The immediate question that comes to mind is, who will play the Doctor? If the Americans win out and we're to be subjected to an "accent", the office is kicking around suggestions/predictions/fears of George Clooney, Steve Carrell, Tom Hanks, or intriguingly Robert Downey Jr (well his Sherlock is pretty passable).

Alternatively, if the Brits get to cast an actual fellow countryman as their Doctor, the choices could be, well Matt Smith obviously, David Tennant in a Timelord comeback, for Oscar-winning popularity Colin Firth or as one Reg hack suggested in a none-too-likely scenario: Karl Pilkington.

Any other Doctor Who fans care to take a guess? ®

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