Yesterday was a pretty good day all the way around. First up, I saw the new Shane Black movie The Nice Guys. Then I headed over to HitFix, where Black joined me for a long-form conversation about his new film, his past work, the state of the industry today, and some of his upcoming projects. It was a great way to spend forty minutes, and Black seems to be in a good mood about his new film, as he should be.
One of the subjects that we discussed before, during, and after the actual taping is how Black plans to tackle Doc Savage, a film that has my full attention. I grew up loving the original pulp stories, and when they started the latest series of reprints of the original Kenneth Robeson/Street & Smith material, I picked up as many as I could lay hands on. The Bantam paperbacks in the ’60s and ’70s were the ones I initially read, and I dearly love the iconography of those covers that James Bama created. Even so, I don”t think the character has ever been pinned down to just one visual interpretation, which gives Shane Black a fair amount of room to figure out what he”s going to do when he makes his movie.
He”s been working on this one for a while now, and it sounds like they”re still working to get the script to a place where Black is satisfied. I”m not sure where you would even start to build the world of that movie, because modern audiences aren”t really prepped for pure straight-from-the-tap pulp. We talked about what that means to Black and why he”s eager to do this project, and I really liked his perspective on things.
While I don”t think they”ve gotten to the actual casting stage yet, it was fairly clear in our post-interview chat where his head is right now, and as a frustrated Jack Reacher fan who realized he was talking to another frustrated Jack Reacher fan, I was delighted to hear that Shane Black considers Dwayne Johnson to be a self-contained special effect who could help sell the idea that Doc Savage is unlike any other person on the planet. That is not meant to be a scoop, though. It”s more a look at how Black is approaching this character.
We”ll have Black talking about his upcoming project The Predator tomorrow, and we”ll have the full interview about The Nice Guys and Black”s work overall for you soon. It was a delight to sit down with him, and I can”t wait until I”m able to actually review The Nice Guys.
The Nice Guys is in theaters May 20, 2016.