Johnny Depp for a movie adaptation of Doctor Who? Stupidest rumour ever.

Did you catch the fevered posts yesterday about Johnny Depp starring as Doctor Who in a big-budget Hollywood movie? I seem to remember gossip a while back that suggested an American version of Doctor Who was on the cards. Now this.

Let’s look at the ‘evidence’ for this first, then I’ll tell you why I think it’s a load of nonsense.

The source of this news is an article published – then deleted – on free article website Since the article has been deleted, the author can’t be contacted and the source can’t be verified. Convenient, huh? Here’s a widely quoted excerpt from that article:

Long-time producer of the television series Russell T. Davies reported that the reason he moved on from the show was due to the opportunity to transform the Doctor to the big screen. “Bringing the Who franchise to the theaters is a regeneration for the character beyond the usual one. A theatrical release has a greater range and can reach millions of more people than just the fans. There will be brand new concepts and the film will be just as adventurous, scary and humorous as the television programme. But none of us working the film will forget what makes the character great and interesting and the long-time fans will not be disappointed because yes, the Daleks make an appearance.”

OK, let’s look at this one. Davies left Doctor Who to concentrate on making a movie version? Because recent comments from Steven Moffat suggest that Davies steadfastly refuses to come back on board as a writer for Doctor Who because the last five years have exhausted him. He just wants to lie down. Add to that his work on The Sarah Jane Adventures and the recently recommissioned Torchwood, and Davies is busy enough, thank you very much.

Next up, the website claims to have verified that Johnny Depp is lined up to play The Doctor. However, as a commenter on that same site says:

IMDB lists nineteen Johnny Depp films in development or production. Nineteen! And Doctor Who isn’t even on the list yet.

I haven’t fact checked that one, but even if Depp had a couple of film commitments under his belt, pushing out a Doctor Who movie in time for 2012 might be a little tight.

Here are a few more reasons why I don’t believe that this rumour is even remotely viable.

  1. Right, I know this was never scorched into a tablet by lighting on the side of Mount Sinai, but the crucial commandment for Doctor Who is that he must be played by a British actor. Sorry, Johnny, but that’s the reality of the situation.
  2. The only actor who should be considered to play The Doctor in a movie adaptation is the current Doctor. So, for right now, any potential movie featuring The Doctor should be played by [[Matt Smith]].
  3. Besides, the 1990’s Doctor Who TV movie is considered canon with the rest of the series. How would a new movie with a new Doctor fit into the picture? It might be great for Hollywood, but a complete disaster for Doctor Who.

So, there you go. Unless we hear confirmation in the mainstream media within the next couple of days, I’d write this one off as a fanciful rumour at best. Though I will raise torch and pitchforks and march on Hollywood if there’s even a sniff that there’s a movie version that Matt Smith and Karen Gillan aren’t involved in.

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