Sony Pictures Television (SPT) is about to acquire Bad Wolf, the company due to begin co-producing Doctor Who with BBC Studios from the show’s 60th anniversary.
Sony is apparently acquiring Bad Wolf for around £60 million; it seems the firm has been up for sale for some time now anyway, certainly before Russell T Davies was announced as the new showrunner of Doctor Who following Chris Chibnall’s departure.
Bad Wolf was co-founded in 2015 by two people very important in the history of Who: Jane Tranter, the BBC’s former Controller of Drama (partly responsible for recommissioning Doctor Who), and Julie Gardner, executive producer from Rose to The End of Time. They’ve since been joined by Natasha Hale, a former senior civil servant in the Welsh Government.
Sony will reportedly buy out existing minority shareholders, Access Entertainment and Sky/HBO, to become the chief shareholder of Bad Wolf.
What does this mean for Doctor Who? Probably not much just yet. If Sony are involved at all, it’ll be behind the scenes and Davies will still be at the forefront of the franchise for the foreseeable future. There are rumours that Sony will push for a Doctor Who film, but this is very doubtful (and let’s remember that it’s Sony Pictures Television).
Sony is the head of numerous franchises including The Blacklist, Jumanji, Breaking Bad, and, with Marvel Studios, the Spider-Man films (plus select animations). Bad Wolf, meanwhile, is best known for producing His Dark Materials.
This could be a very canny move on Davies’ behalf too: he’s long been concerned about the state of the BBC, and thus Doctor Who‘s future — having more production companies on board means more interested parties, keen to keep Doctor Who going strong.
The 60th anniversary special of Doctor Who will apparently begin filming next year, to be screened in 2023.
(Thanks to Joe Siegler.)