Nowadays it seems like frightfully few directors are as flexible as, say, a Stanley Kubrick. Not many filmmakers these days are able to genre hop until their hearts are content.
Steven Soderbergh is quick to come to mind, but newcomer Rian Johnson is fast establishing himself as one of those select few. Thus far, he’s gone from a distinctive and unique neo-noir in Brick to a charming caper in The Brothers Bloom to now a new twist on time-travel with Looper. That’s not even mentioning his work as director on the critically acclaimed series Breaking Bad which includes two episodes, one (“Fly”) a bottle episode and the other (“Fifty-One”) an episode that fits the Breaking Bad aesthetic perfectly while still managing to set itself apart.
With so much variance and success in the things he’s tackled, his namesake alone has become enough to pique my curiosity, let alone when it’s attached to a series as widely adored as Doctor Who. You read right, what Johnson wants to try his hand at most is an episode of the long-running series. As noted by Total Film, the Looper director had this to say in a recent Reddit AMA:
“What I’d really kill to try, although it would be terrifying because I’m such a big fan of it? Doctor Who.”
For a show that’s brought on famed writer Neil Gaiman to pen two episodes so far, a guest director spot for Johnson, the rising star, wouldn’t be an out of character move. It would also make all the sense in the world with Johnson’s foray into time-travel, Looper, about to hit theaters in the US and the UK just two days from now. Plus, he’s fresh off another rousing success as guest director on Breaking Bad. He’s certainly on his way up, but he’s not quite there yet and that coupled with his love for the series means he’d be an easy get.
Give this man an episode, I say. What harm could it do? I say this because Gaiman’s involvement is part of why I started watching the show in the first place. As with Johnson, I have immense respect for everything he’s done or been involved in and so he was a huge draw for me and, I imagine, many others. The same would probably hold true for Johnson, and it definitely would for Peter Jackson, who Total Film says is another hopeful guest director.
Doctor Who‘s popular enough that it could more than survive without them, but that shouldn’t stop the BBC from capitalizing on the limelight both directors are now in and using them to turn it on their show. Money would seem to be the only sticking point to me, though I’m sure that could be worked out with the interest both men have in the opportunity, making it less likely that they’d be greedy.
But what do you say, faithful Doctor Who fans? Would this be a wondrous match? Sound off below.