‘Doctor Who’ movie in development by ‘Harry Potter’ director David Yates

Yates reckons the show would need 'quite a radical transformation to move it into a bigger arena'

Doctor Who is set to be adapted for the big screen by Harry Potter director David Yates, he has revealed.

Although a movie version of the British sci-fi classic has long been rumoured, no concrete details have ever emerged. But now, according to Variety, Yates says he is developing the new film alongside Jane Tranter, head of Los Angeles based BBC Worldwide Productions.

He said:

We’re looking at writers now. We’re going to spend two or three years getting it right. It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into a bigger arena. The notion of a time-travelling Timelord is such a strong one, because you can express story and drama in any dimension or time.

But in a move set to cause controversy among fans, Yates has said his film will not follow established TV continuity and instead reboot the Timelord’s mythology. He said: “Russell T Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start form scratch.”

Meanwhile, he added that he would consider using a US writer: “We want a British sensibility, having said that, Steve Kloves wrote the Potter films and captured that British sensibility perfectly, so we are looking at American writers too.”

The BBC appeared to confirm the news but gave little away, saying in a brief statement: “A Doctor Who feature film remains in development with BBC Worldwide Productions in Los Angeles. The project is unlikely to reach cinemas for several years and as yet there is no script, cast or production crew in place.”

While any big screen version would not reach cinemas in time for Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary in 2013, it is not clear what it would mean for BBC TV version.