Who should play Who? Our Doctor Who Movie star suggestions

Never mind Matt Smith - here's our selection of the thesps we think could step into the Doctor Who Movie's Tardis

It’s been announced that the Doctor’s heading back to the big screen sometime in the next three years. The upcoming film’s director, David Yates, has said that he’s going to enact a “radical transformation” and “start from scratch”, presumably meaning that Matt Smith and Karen Gillan will be shown the (Tardis) door once the cameras start rolling. 


But who could possibly step into the Time Lord’s shoes and bring the Gallifreyan to life on the big screen? Who, out of the Screen Actors Guild’s vast address book, would be right for the role? We’ve mulled it over and thought we’d offer up our suggestions for debate. So give ’em a look, and if you can think of anyone else who’d be ideal for the post, don’t keep schtum – post a comment, and let’s give those Hollywood fat cats something to think about…

Justin Bieber

The Doctor Who movie’s not due out for another three years. By that time Bieber will have turned 20 and proper adulthood will have presumably put an end to his cutesy-poo singing career. But with the inexplicable number of fans he’s amassed along the way, he’d be crazy not to ‘do a Timberlake’ and make the leap to acting, with a kiddie-friendly brand like Doctor Who surely being the perfect vehicle for the swish-fringed tyke’s big-screen debut.

Abe Vigoda 

OK, sure, the last few Doctors have all been virile young bucks with absolutely no need to visit the intergalactic equivalent of Lloyds every couple of weeks for a fresh tube of Steradent, but let’s not forget that the Doctor’s first incarnation was a white-haired grandfatherly figure in the form of William Hartnell. He played the role as the archetypal crotchety old man, so who better to take Who back to its roots than the oldest man in Hollywood? In addition to being 90 years old, Abe’s a brilliant character actor and still going strong. Let’s hope that’s still the case in 2014…

Lady Gaga

Who better to play the most famous Time Lord in the universe than the most famous pop star on the planet? No musical career can last forever, and Gaga knows that. Therefore it seems inevitable that the flamboyant singer/songwriter will follow in the footsteps of Madonna and take to the silver screen. We know Whovians aren’t averse to the idea of a female Doctor – so maybe it’s time for that “radical change” that David Yates talks about to manifest itself in the shape of a Lady Doctor.

Morgan Freeman

Would be the first black Doctor, of course, and herald a return to the twinkly old Doctor of Jon Pertwee rather than the young cheek of Matt Smith. Would also be the best choice should Hollywood decide to slap on a pointless voiceover.

Ricky Gervais

The internationally respected actor, writer, director and role model could take Doctor Who in an edgy new “fake documentary” direction. Chortle as the Doctor’s efforts to star in his own intergalactic TV drama come to grief when he is seen pushing a gay, wheelchair-using Sontaran down some stairs. 

See Ricky as a Doctor Who monster in Extras:


Colin Firth

If there’s any chance of the Doctor being played by a British actor, he has to be one of the handful Hollywood actually knows. Alan Rickman immediately springs to mind but, as Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films, it’s that Euro-baddie niche he’s made his own. Colin Firth plays good guys (Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’s Diary, George VI in the King’s Speech) with British reserve, yet a hint of a smile around the lips that alludes to a barely suppressed eccentricity. He also has proper English delivery – the kind to make Americans declare “I just love your accent!” – and curly hair, which has served several Doctors well in the past.

A fan evidently already wants to see Firth as the Doc:


William Shatner

Is space the final frontier – or is it time? As we’ve already mentioned, eccentricity is a must for the role of the Doctor. Look the word eccentric up in the encyclopedia (contrary to popular myth, dictionaries rarely contain pictures) and, next to the photo of Tom Baker, you’ll see one of William Shatner. Not only does the Shat (as James T Kirk) have extensive experience of intergalactic travel and thwarting alien menaces, his… unique… patternsofspeechare… exactlywhat… you… might… expectfromaGallifreyan… speaking… asecondlanguage.

Damian Lewis 

The British actor has had a few film roles and is familiar to US audiences, too, from TV series Band of Brothers, Life and Homeland. And we all know the Doctor desperately wants one regeneration to have red hair. Plus wife Helen McCrory made a memorable baddie in Matt Smith episode The Vampires of Venice – so from a marital point of view, it’d be a great way to balance the scales…

Daniel Day-Lewis 

Day-Lewis has earned respect both in Hollywood and among fans for his deeply emotional performances. He’s better known for tackling unsympathetic characters but, after excelling at so many heavyweight roles, he might welcome a little light relief playing the capricious Gallifreyan. There will be fun.

Hugh Laurie


British? Check. Well known to Americans? Check. They probably think he is American? Check. Proven track record of long-running franchise success? Check. Can do comedy and serious? Check. Hugh Laurie, aka Gregory House MD, is the Doctor.