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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

Steven Moffat tells Spielberg to take a hike

UPDATED: In the interest of fairness and such, here’s a link to a BBC News story in which Moffat clarifies some of the earlier news. Though, honestly, the only genuine correction is that it’s Tintin collaborator Peter Jackson, not Steven Spielberg, who’s a big fan of Doctor Who, which is less surprising, seeing as how Jackson is a Kiwi and Spielberg merely American (and too old to really be a DW fan anyway).


Oh man, this would have been a toughie for me: the chance to work with Steven Spielberg, or on Doctor Who?

No, I’m kidding. Even though it was a Spielberg movie — Raiders of the Lost Ark — that made me fall in love with movies in the first place. Doctor Who would win out in an instant. I wouldn’t even have to think about it.

From Saturday’s Daily Mail:

The new man in charge of Doctor Who turned down a £500,000 movie deal with Steven Spielberg so he could take the job.

Bafta-winning scriptwriter Steven Moffat has quit a two-picture deal with the director and Lord Of The Rings film-maker Peter Jackson to fulfil a ‘childhood dream’ of working on the BBC sci-fi drama.

‘There are no bad feelings between Spielberg and me, [says Moffat] but Doctor Who has to come before Hollywood.’

‘I could not work on the second Tintin film and work on Doctor Who. So I chose Doctor Who.

‘Steven is a fan and he understood my passion for the series completely.’

Actually, the news that Spielberg is a fan of Doctor Who — assuming it’s actually true — is a bit of a scoop.

Best bit in the article?

One Hollywood insider said: ‘No one walks away from Spielberg and all that money for a show no one has heard of. I mean, what is this doctor show about? It sounds a little silly.’

Awesome.

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  • Martin

    “One Hollywood insider said: ‘No one walks away from Spielberg and all that money for a show no one has heard of. I mean, what is this doctor show about? It sounds a little silly.'”

    Some people just have no integrity I guess.

    But unless the source is named, an insider can mean “something I just pulled out of my ass”

  • Joanne

    That’d be no one except the 10 million British viewers who watched “Journey’s End” the other week, then …

    I’m impressed with Moffat, though. It’s a tough decision to make.

  • “Some people just have no integrity I guess.”

    I’d say it’s more likely that there are just people in Hollywood who don’t know and don’t care about anything that doesn’t come from Hollywood.

    Q: How many Hollywood movie execs does it take to screw in a light bulb?
    A: One. They hold the bulb and the entire world revolves around them.

  • FWIW, Moffat has clarified some of what the Daily Mail reported as inaccurate.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7517423.stm

  • Martin

    “But it was “the proper duty of every British subject to come to the aid of the Tardis”, he added.”

    He’s giving away our best kept secrets!!!

  • MaryAnn

    That’d be no one except the 10 million British viewers who watched “Journey’s End” the other week, then …

    And the millions more who watch the show around the world.

  • WinkerFred

    Speilberg lost his edge a long time ago, for reference see “Kingdom of the Chrystal Skull” and “War of the Worlds”.

    Would Speilberg teach Moffat his wonderful technique of over explaining every damn thing and leaving nothing for the audience. One can only imagine.

  • Joanne

    And the millions more who watch the show around the world.

    Oh yeah, absolutely – I’m currently one of the global viewers! :)

  • I can’t believe somebody turned down that much money to work on Doctor Who. At the same time, he probably just really wanted to do something he enjoyed.

  • Ryan H

    Well, remember he is not working on Doctor Who for free.
    And based on past Spielberg and Jackson projects the 500k would have likely meant at least a one or two year commitment.

    And especially now that he is going to be show runner for what might be the BBCs flagship production I doubt he is underpaid.

    In fact, I’d bet he regrets the losing the chance to work with some really fantastic people more than he regrets whatever monetary loss might have taken place.

  • MaryAnn

    I can’t believe somebody turned down that much money to work on Doctor Who.

    I can. And it’s not like he had to choose between being rich and being poor. At worst, he had to choose between being rich and being very comfortable.

  • Dawn

    I’m more interested that the haunting Thomas Sangster (“Human Nature”/”The Family of Blood”) is one of the stars – and Andy Serkis who is in Einstein and Eddington with DT is also in it. So many Who connections…. I thought that I had read somewhere recently that the script for the first film had already been submitted by Moffatt (although I don’t know whether that is the final draft)- isn’t it shooting very soon? It’s good to know that some people can choose with their heart and not their wallet in this commercial world. Good on you SM!

  • MaryAnn

    Moffat has completed the first script — he had to back out of his agreement to write the second.

    Sangster is fantastic. He’s gonna be a great Tintin.

  • gunkittie

    Spielburg is not too old to appreciate Doctor Who it did come out in 1963 after all ;). I do love Steven spielburg , but I must say I’d rather work on doctor who if given the chance. Though there would be alot of money to be made on both projects, given the crappy every day office space job I have I’d do it for free. Also I agree, War of the Worlds and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was kinda crappy…

  • MaryAnn

    *Doctor Who* started in 1963 in England. It did not hit the U.S. in any meaningful way until the early 1980s, when Spielberg was already knee-deep in multiple blockbuster franchises. I doubt he had time to devote much attention to anything that was on TV at the time.

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