Eccleston apparently spoke of his plans to play the Doctor "over the next two to three years", in an interview with the BBC's Doctor Who website. The interview was taken down after Christopher made his surprise decision to quit.
"I will film Dr Who for seven months over the next two to three years and as long as I'm not too tired I'll do theatre in between," he told the website.
The actor has recently been talking to Hollywood producers about major film roles, according to the newspaper.
"Bosses were fuming about Christopher walking out," a source explained. "He had made a gentleman's agreement to stay for at least another series. It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth."
Eccleston decided to quit the show in fear of becoming typecast.