The announcement last month by Harry Potter director David Yates that he's developing a Doctor Who movie -- one made "from scratch," independent of the current version of the TV series -- was met with largely negative reaction from fans, and confusion from some corners of the BBC.
But fear not, Whovians, showrunner Steven Moffat insists that's not going to happen.
"To clarify: any Doctor Who movie would be made by the BBC team, star the current TV Doctor and certainly NOT be a Hollywood reboot," he wrote last night on Twitter. "David Yates, great director, was speaking off the cuff, on a red carpet. You've seen the rubbish I talk when I'm cornered."
That settles that, right? Well ... Moffat presumably was referring to this MTV report, posted yesterday, from the BAFTA Los Angeles 2011 Britannia Awards where Yates was, yes, speaking on the red carpet. "I can't really talk about that because its such a long way away," the director said. "We're principally looking for a writer, and we'll start with that. Everything has to start with a great script, so that's more important than [casting]."
Still, it's pretty difficult to dismiss the director's earlier comments to Variety as "off the cuff," considering he was pretty specific in naming BBC Worldwide executive Jane Tranter, not to mention a target release date.
Moffat went even further, however, telling The Register, "There simply are no developed plans for a Doctor Who movie at the moment. [...] If, and when, the movie happens it will need to star television's Doctor Who – and there's only ever one of those at a time. And it would need to come out of the same production operation that makes the series. Doctor Who is a vitally important BBC brand with a huge international audience and not even Hollywood can start this one from scratch. So sorry if there's been any confusion, but on the plus side it has reminded us all what an exciting prospect this could be."
It seems like only one of these men can be right: Either Yates is living in a fantasy world in which he believes he's bringing the Time Lord to the big screen, or someone at the BBC is making Who plans without Moffat's knowledge.
I know which option I'm hoping for.