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Tinseltown to tackle Time Lord with Dr. Who series

Director David Yates arrives for the premiere of the film "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" in New York
Director David Yates arrives for the premiere of the film "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" in New York

LONDON (Reuters) - Tinseltown is set to take on the Time Lord, with "Harry Potter" director David Yates planning to build a movie franchise based on Britain's hugely popular "Dr. Who" series.

Yates, who made the last four of eight Potter blockbusters, is teaming up with Jane Tranter, head of the LA-based BBC Worldwide Prods, according to Hollywood trade publication Variety.

"We're looking at writers now. We're going to spend two to three years to get it right," Yates told Variety. "It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena."

The television series about an eccentric, super-intelligent humanoid alien traveling through time in his "TARDIS," ran from 1963 to 1989 before being rebooted in 2005.

The current "Doctor Who" stars Matt Smith as the 11th incarnation of the Doctor, and the series is one of the public broadcaster's most lucrative exports. The series airs in the United States on BBC America.

Yates said he would "start from scratch" rather than try and follow on from the existing storyline.

There have been two big-screen adaptations of Dr. Who already -- "Dr. Who and the Daleks" in 1965 and "Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D." the following year -- both starring Peter Cushing as the Time Lord.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)

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