Black (right) with producer Joel Silver
When we last heard from director/screenwriter Shane Black, he was making “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” a move so full of awesomeness that I will punch you in the face if you don’t like it. KKBB was five years ago, and Black fanboys such as myself have been patiently waiting for the action master’s next project to surface. And now it has.
According to Aint’t It Cool News (via Variety), Columbia Pictures has announced that Black will write and direct a feature film adaptation of “Doc Savage,” a pulp comics character from the 1930’s and 1940’s. Allow me to acquaint you with Savage’s character:
…A cross between “Sherlock Holmes with his deducting ability, Tarzan of the Apes with his towering physique and muscular ability, Craig Kennedy with his scientific knowledge, and Abraham Lincoln with his Christliness.”
Through 181 novels, the fight against evil was on. From a headquarters on the 86th floor of a towering Manhattan skyscraper, Doc, his five pals – Renny, Johnny, Long Tom, Ham and Monk – and occasionally his cousin Pat battled criminals the world over (and under) 12 times a year, from 1933 until early 1947; then the team’s exploits dropped to every two months until the final three quarterly issues in 1949.
According to his profile, Savage is also “a physician, surgeon, scientist, adventurer, inventor, explorer, researcher, and, as revealed in "The Polar Treasure," a musician.” Yes, but can he juggle? Savage has been played on the big screen once before, back in 1975 and starring Ron Ely. Arnold Schwarzenegger was also attached to the character before he became the governor of Colliefuniuh.
One glimpse at the character’s profile and you go immediately to one place: Indiana Jones. When Steven Spielberg made “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” he made it his expressed mission to make a movie that shared his joy of old pulp comics, and the Doc Savage character fits squarely in that era. Many have tried, over the years, to duplicate the magic of “Raiders.” None have succeeded, least of all Spielberg himself.
But Black is eminently qualified to give it a shot. The man does action like few others, and now he has this 1930s superman to toy with. This will be a good time, provided no one forces him to cast one of those “Twilight” idiots.