It has taken quite a few years, but it looks like Columbia Pictures might finally be bringing pulp hero Doc Savage back to the big screen. The man charged with this near-impossible task is none other than Lethal Weapon creator and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang writer/director, Shane Black.
A Doc Savage film has been kicking around Hollywood since the late 1990s, and at one point it was being tooled as a starring vehicle for Arnold Schwarzenegger – but his move into politics seemed to put an end to the film. However, now producer Neil Moritz has signed the Austrian Oak’s Predator co-star, Shane Black, to write and direct the film (he’ll be scripting along with Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry).
Who is Doc Savage, I hear some of you asking?
“One of the most popular characters in the pulps of the 1930s and ’40s, Doc Savage was also popularized on radio, film and TV. Trained since birth to be nearly superhuman in every way, Doc Savage uses his skills and powers to fight evil all over the world.”
Columbia Pictures co-president Matt Tolmach seems pretty excited about the film (well, it is a possible franchise). He said:
“Doc Savage is an icon, a character with limitless possibilities. We have had a great experience working with Neal to bring another classic character of the era, the Green Hornet, to a new generation of fans, and we think he and Shane make the ideal team to bring Doc Savage back to the big screen.”
No actor has yet been cast as the scientist/physician/adventurer/inventor/explorer/researcher.
Doc Savage seems like the ideal property for a Hollywood Studio – think Indiana Jones, Batman and James Bond rolled into one. It’s probably making Columbia bean counters drool at the mouth in anticipation of the profits. The character was last brought to the screen in 1975, in an ultra-camp adventure film.
Now, I know that you folks have two questions rattling around in your heads!
1. Who will they get to play Doc Savage?
2. How will this affect Black’s Mel Gibson starrer Cold Warrior (also being penned Bagarozzi and Mondry)?
I’d love to see Black’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang star Val Kilmer bring Savage to the screen. He’s got the presence, the stature and the hair coloring to carry it off (after a bit of gym time) and I’d love to see Kilmer back on the A-list like his Kiss Kiss co-star Robert Downey Jr. I’m a realist though, and I know it’ll probably go to someone like Chris Pine or Bradley Cooper.
As for question number two? As it is only in the scripting stage, Doc Savage shouldn’t affect Black’s re-team with Gibson.
Now, I’m throwing it over to you guys – who would you like to see play Doc Savage?