Allyn Gibson wrote:
Brendan Moody wrote:
Unless those "Eccleston backed out at the last minute" rumors are true, I very much doubt that there was ever a full script with the ninth Doctor. You don't put that much work into a concept that depends on particular actors without getting at least informal agreement from those actors that they'll be participating.
I don't find the rumors that Eccleston bailed at the last minute credible. Had Eccleston done so it would have been an unprofessional and career-damaging move on his part. Yes, actors leave productions at the last minute, but there are usually mitigating circumstances, and there are no mitigating circumstances rumored for Ecclestone's departure. There are no rumors of a death in the family, a life-threatening illness, even landing a plum role in a now-filming tentpole film for next summer.
I don't know if the rumor is wish-fulfillment on the part of some in fandom because they wanted to believe that Eccleston was going to be a part of the production.
There aren't any rumors but there are reported facts. Eccleston met with Moffat twice and turned down the role. We don't know the timing, but it sounds like it was early in the process.