Doctor Who News Doctor Who chief Steven Moffat

Published on July 10th, 2014 | by Christian Cawley

Steven Moffat NOT Quitting Doctor Who for Star Wars

Respected Star Wars website Jedi News claims that Steven Moffat is being linked to a future Star Wars project, probably as writer but potentially as producer or even director!

Moffat – who wrote Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn movie – is said to be in the frame for either a trilogy installment or one of the standalone side projects. If it is the former, then it will probably be IX, the final part – if the latter, we can take our pick as none of them had cast or crew formally confirmed.

In case you didn’t know, Star Wars creator George Lucas and Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg are regular collaborators, and good friends. Spielberg himself has been involved with Doctor Who in the past when Philip Segal – future executive of the 1996 TV Movie – was working with Spielberg’s production company Amblin. We’re talking two degrees of separation here, people, so don’t rule this out.

Of course, with a role that Moffat is not known for in the mix, this could have very interesting consequences for his future as the boss of Doctor Who. While we can see how he might be able to manage writing and even producing a movie (although he turned down a second Tintin movie to take the reins on Doctor Who), directing is a whole different proposition, requiring a considerable amount of time that we don’t believe is available concurrent to Doctor Who and even Sherlock.

We will have to wait and see; at this stage, the proposition of Steven Moffat quitting Doctor Who is purely conjecture, based on a rumour of is his possible association with Star Wars. It’s exciting though – after all, if anything was likely to pull the showrunner away it would have to be something just that little bit bigger, and the revived Star Wars certainly fits the bill…

(Via ComicBookMovie | Thanks to Nick)

Update: Sue Vertue Intervenes!

Sue Vertue, wife of Steven Moffat and successful TV producer in her own right, has this morning tweeted:

So it seems that we can lay this one to rest!


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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

26 Responses to Steven Moffat NOT Quitting Doctor Who for Star Wars

  1. avatar Steve C says:

    Moffat a director of anything, oh do be serious. Have a look at his imdb before reporting this sort of nonsense.

    • It’s conjecture. As stated in the article. There’s really no need to be so rude.

      Let’s face it, if he fancied it (and as Ms Vertue states, it’s news to him) he could hardly do a worse job than George Lucas did with Episode 1.

      Writers becoming directors is quite common. After all, it gives them a closer relationship with the end product. Moffat is already active in the editing suite. Nothing about this possibility is as incredible as your onerous comment makes out.

      • avatar Rick says:

        That said, it’s unusual to make your directorial debut on a big blockbuster like a Star Wars movie.

  2. Even if it was true why would he need to quit Who to work on one film

    • avatar John Miller says:

      One Star Wars movie usually takes years to make.

      • avatar STLShawn says:

        Not under the Disney model. They want one a year, with other “related” material coming out.

        • avatar John Miller says:

          Oh look, someone has downvoted every post on this topic(and probably other topics too).

          • avatar Simon Magellan says:

            Gives them something to do. I suppose!

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      Writing a major film like this would be a intensive project, I would doubt any writer could do other work – let alone producing a TV series – on top of it, nor would Disney want them to, they’d expect loyalty to their show. So it comes down to whether they offer it to him, and whether wants to do it. Good payday I should think!

  3. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    First, I believe nothing Moffat says ever, because rule number one….etc.

    Second, although I myself don’t see him going the director route, anything us possible. And this would be a few years down the line, say *after* Sherlock is finally, mercifully over. So, since SW will probably be filmed in the UK, I can see him working on SW while he continues to work on DW. I would NOT like it however, because his attention would be split even worse in that situation.

    Third, with all the American director talent chomping at the bit to get their hands on SW, I’d be surprised if they gave it to a newbie and that’s exactly what the Moff would be as a director.

    • avatar simon magellan says:

      Isn’t the first standalone being directed by a Brit? Gareth Edwards I believe.

  4. avatar Peter Greenwood says:

    Mr Moffat is a uniquely talented writer producer, and speaking as a commercial director myself I have every confidence he could direct a feature project with total ease if he chose to do so.
    His exposure to effects heavy production is so complete and complicated on a show like Dr Who, that anything else like a Star Wars type project would be walking on very familiar territory indeed.

  5. avatar drewboynton says:

    If you turn Steven Moffat’s initials “SM” upside down, it reads “SW”. That’s all the proof I need that he is indeed writing the rest of the Star Wars movies!

    • avatar francis cave says:

      I have used the same to prove the undeniable connection between my favourite band Depeche Mode (DM) and my favourite TV Show/thing generally – DW….

  6. avatar Howard Railton says:

    If Moffat went as chief writer on Dr Who, I would genuinely have mixed feelings whilst tipping generally towards a ‘hooray!’ because whilst he has got the broad imagination the job requires and has come up with some great stuff, all too often the show has been taken in dire directions such as marrying off Dr Who to River Song and the whole hopelessly convoluted mess that is Impossible Astronaut. In contrast, Asylum of the Daleks I liked but then look at the mess of Time of the Dr and you’ll see my point… Even in Asylum the whole business of Daleks going to the trouble to capture Amy and Roary makes no sense.

    Most of the time it feels as if he’s Who-ed out but could deliver a really great story but even in Day of the Doctor there are two plots (a Dalek one and a Zygon one) and endless loose ends vying to be tied up. The ‘story’ seems to end up as John Hurt’s in the end despite Baker’s cameo, and he’s not even a series Doctor so all in all less than satisfactory all round. The hatcheting and concertinering of stories down to fit 45 minutes hasn’t helped any of them build up tension, it just makes it all feel slight and over too soon.

    • avatar Rick says:

      Did you just refer to The Doctor as Dr Who?

      • avatar Howard Railton says:

        afraid so.

  7. avatar Craig Hansen says:

    Moffat has said he’s closer to the end of his DW showrunner gig than the beginning. That said, I doubt this rumor as it’s all too early on, and even his wife denies it. I have no doubt SM will step down from DW one day. Going off his 2013 quote about being “closer to the end than the beginning” of his run, he’s been showrunner for three seasons and associated with the show for all seven. So, I imagine he’ll be stepping down anywhere between the end of season 9, or at most, the end of season 13, which is ridiculous to even consider or talk about at this point.

    And heck, for all we know, he could step down after season eight. Since showrunners do tend to leave around the same time as whoever plays the Doctor, there’s a chance he’ll stay on for as long as Capaldi is DW. Or perhaps earlier since in 2013 Moffat was also quoted as saying he wanted to help the next Doctor (Capaldi) “get off to a good start,” which means he might leave before Capaldi does.

    But we’re not Moffat or inside his head, so we can’t know. And Moffat, like The Doctor, doesn’t always tell the full truth. He sells hype, as do many entertainers. Weeks before Smith announced his exit from the role of The Doctor, Moffat was asked how long Smith would stay on and he cagily replied something on the order “the rest of The Doctor’s life.” Which, given the Christmas special, was true… but only a few weeks later, Smith’s departure was announced.

  8. avatar Herbert Ragan says:

    Wow! The rumor mill is churning overtime on this. No one is going to hand over the directorial reigns to a $100-200 million dollar budgeted film to Steven Moffat. He might have a minor role on the writing team but it is ridiculous to speculate he will be leaving DW any time soon

  9. avatar Geoff says:

    I think Star Wars is just too linear for Mr Moffat. Don’t get me wrong I love Star Wars but it’s a very straight legend type tale with a beginning, middle and end. Doctor Who on the other hand can and does leap all over the place and can be morally ambiguous (even the Doctor being so on occasions) and Mr Moffat seems to enjoy these aspects of the production. I just think his imagination would be a bit wasted on Star Wars.

  10. It’s not really news is it? Nobody thought he was going to “quit” Doctor Who for Star Wars in the first place. It was just a silly rumour.

  11. avatar Dr Hula Hoop says:

    I agree with Steve C, being a writer/producer doesn’t mean you would make a good director, the technical aspects of the roles are a million miles away from each other. Not saying he couldn’t direct, It’s probably not the hardest job in the world, I just don’t think he’d be anything better than mediocre. Plenty of directors who have studied it as an art form at art college or director school or wherever they go and have worked for years on music videos and commercials still manage to be rubbish when given a budget.
    If he were to direct something I do know one person who’d be convinced it was the best thing ever made though, Steven Moffat.

    • avatar simon magellan says:

      ” It’s probably not the hardest job in the world”

      “Plenty of directors who have studied it …at art college or director school or wherever they go”


  12. avatar Dr Hula Hoop says:

    Yes, seriously, haven’t most directors been to some sort of film school for the length of time it takes to do a degree?

    • avatar Dr Hula Hoop says:

      Actually Simon your post is a little ambiguous in what you are disagreeing with, are you saying that directing IS the hardest job in the world or that most directors DON’T study it as some sort of discipline? Are you just asking me if I am sure in my viewpoint? Are you asking if my post is intended as sarcasm or a form of tongue in cheek jocularity?

      Hard to tell if you are making some sort of point at all if you just quote two sentences from my post and then put “Seriously?”.

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