Adaptations appear to be one of Hollywood's favorite pastimes, and Sony had to dig deep to pull a story from near obscurity with their plans to breathe life into Doc Savage. He is a character that was created by Henry W. Ralson and John L. Nanovic of Street & Smith Publications, and graced the pages of a pulp magazine during the 1930s and 1940s. Lester Dent was the lead writer during the original 181 issues that were published, while Walter Baumhofer, Paul Orban, Emery Clarke, Modest Stein, and Robert G. Harris were illustrators.
News of Doc Savage making his big screen debut first circulated back in 2010 when Shane Black was attached - and there was another resurgence in 2013 after the success of Black's Iron Man 3. Shane Black, fresh off the release of his acclaimed buddy action/comedy The Nice Guys, is now set to write and direct the film - and has found his Doc Savage leading man, too.
After 6 years of being "in development," Doc Savage has recruited everyone's favorite mega-star, Dwayne Johnson - who, after having teased a future collaboration with Black, has now confirmed that he will take up the Savage mantle and become the second film version of a character he calls "the world's first superhero." The previous film, Doc Savage: Man of Bronze, was a major flop in 1975; it was directed by George Pal and stared Ron Ely (Tarzan).
Johnson confirmed his role in an Instagram post and noted that Black and his team of writing collaborators on Doc Savage, Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry, spent time with Johnson and his Seven Bucks Production Team, where they spoke for hours about the character and the project. You can check out his post, below.
It's OFFICIAL: For all comic book fans you already know the world's first superhero (pre-dating Superman) is the "Man of Bronze" himself Clark "Doc" Savage. Want to thank my bud director/writer Shane Black and his writing team Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry for flying in from LA and sitting with me and our @sevenbucksprod's producer @hhgarcia41 on this Memorial Day weekend to chop up creative and break story on this very cool project. Comic book fans around the world know that the cool thing about "Doc" Savage is that he's the inspiration for Superman. First name Clark, called "Man of Bronze", retreats to his "Fortress of Solitude" in the Arctic etc etc. Doc was physically and mentally trained from birth by his father and a team of scientists to become the perfect human specimen with a genius level intellect. His heightened senses are beyond comprehension. He can even identify a women's perfume from half a mile away. He is literally the master of everything. But here's the #1 reason I'm excited to become Doc Savage.. HE'S A F*CKING HILARIOUS WEIRDO! Confidently, yet innocently he has zero social graces whatsoever due to his upbringing so every interaction he has with someone is direct, odd, often uncomfortable and amazingly hilarious. After speaking for hours w/ Shane Black I can see why the creator of Superman took only the best parts of Doc Savage and leaving the "weirdo" part behind. But to us, it's that "weirdo" part that makes Clark "Doc" Savage dope! Can't wait to sink my teeth into this one of a kind character. #ItsOfficial #WorldsFirstSuperhero #GeniusIntellect #PhysicalSpecimen #FnLoveableWeirdo #DocSavage
Clark "Doc" Savage was a true Renaissance Man. Most notably an adventurer, he was also able to list doctor, surgeon, scientist, researcher, explorer, inventor, and even musician on his resume. Trained by a team of scientists at his father's behest, Savage was conditioned to near-superhuman abilities from when he was an infant. His other talents include martial arts, superior intelligence, photographic memory, great strength and endurance, and he's a master of disguise. Dent, the Doc Savage Magazine lead writer, compared Savage to a mix of Tarzan and Sherlock Holmes.
Doc Savage is often credited as the precursor to Superman. Nicknamed "The Man of Bronze," Doc Savage even had his very own Fortress of Solitude. While Doc had his fair share of villains, only one nemesis stands out. John Sunlight had good intentions (end racism, stop war, curb famine), but he wanted to do all of these things as the leader of the world. Though Doc didn't have a team, per se, there was a group of allies called the Fabulous Five who made frequent appearances in the magazine. They were comprised of a geologist, a chemist, two engineers, and an attorney.
In the Instagram post, Johnson brings attention to Doc's social ineptitude, calling the character a "hilarious weirdo!" If there's a comedy element, then "The Rock" is perfectly suited to play a funny yet socially awkward adventurer with super strength and martial arts skills.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant as we continue to follow the development of Doc Savage.
Source: Dwayne Johnson