Who’s on the silver screen? Odds on the Doctor Who Movie protagonist
Last week, Doctor Who fandom was temporarily shaken up with the scintillating rumor that a full-on feature-length movie was in pre-production with Johnny Depp cast to play the title role; this reportage went so far as to quote former show producer Russell T. Davies as stating “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.”
Of course, the BBC folks took it upon themselves as soon as humanly possible to debunk the rumor, stating that no such movie was in the planning stages and that Depp was certainly not tabbed for any such non-existent role.
All well and good, but those cheeky bookmakers over at Paddy Power – no fools they – were quick to add an intriguing novelty bet alongside their range of sportsbook offerings. After all, Doctor Who: The Motion Picture certainly seems an inevitability with the countdown to November 23, 2013, that all-important 50th anniversary of the first episode’s broadcast. And though Matt Smith was damn near a total unknown even in Britain when he took the part in 2009, the previous titular stars since the programme’s reboot in 2005 – Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant – both have some cachet in Hollywood and London.
Typically, checking up on the sportsbooks’ odds is a smart move, even if you don’t gamble. Think about it: Oddsmakers are dependent on getting their numbers right in order to maximize profit; their decisions in setting lines on sports events are literally worth millions of dollars every day.
But Doctor Who hasn’t recently stymied punters for sure, particularly with the naming of Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor in 2008. In another life, Buck Bokai wrote up this story for another website. Check out the lists of who leading bookmakers then reckoned would get the role.
Sure, most of us fanboys figured the role was Paterson Joseph’s or James Nesbitt’s, but reportedly exactly one punter on the entire planet was able to cash in on a bet that Matt Smith would win the role. About one hour before the BBC special was aired announcing the decision, a single unnamed Brit phoned PaddyPower for odds on this unknown 27-year-old would get the part. Paddy gave him a line of 20/1 and this guy cashed in. Thanks to that special airing, we can figure that this “lucky” gambler was a close friend of Smith’s father, reportedly the only person to whom Smith leaked his excitement at getting the role.
So then, here’s the table for the Paddy Power novelty bet entitled “Who will play the Doctor Who?” (sic) but note that the eventual star may not be listed at all – and that the film must be in full cinematic release by 2018. Most of this list is laughable after the first half-dozen or so names – If you’re listening, Hollywood, for the love of god keep Russell Crowe the fuck away from this franchise – but it does make for some hilarious speculation.
Johnny Depp: 2/1
Matt Smith: 9/4
David Tennant: 8/1
Hugh Grant: 10/1
Orlando Bloom: 12/1
Colin Firth, Robert Pattinson: 14/1
Christopher Eccleston: 16/1
Ralph Fiennes, Hugh Laurie: 18/1
Daniel Radcliffe: 20/1
Jude Law: 25/1
Clive Owen, Tim Roth, Christoph Waltz: 33/1
Daniel Day-Lewis, Ben Kingsley, Kevin Spacey: 40/1
Philip Seymour Hoffman: 50/1
Jeff Bridges, Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Liam Neeson: 80/1
George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Sean Penn: 100/1
Buck Bokai’s bet? No movie, but rather a huge BBC TV event in 2013 starring Eccleston, Tennant and Smith. And Paul McGann. And Sylvester McCoy. Okay, maybe not McCoy.