Shane Black has a lot on his plate. The Nice Guys hits theaters in a couple of weeks and he’s working on the next Predator movie, but perhaps his most intriguing project is his long-in-development Doc Savage film. For those not up on their pulp characters, Doc Savage first appeared in 1933 and could basically do anything. Seriously, the guy was a doctor, surgeon, scientist, inventor, explorer, researcher, expert martial artist and all-round genius. His popularity peaked during the ’30s and ’40s, but he continues to appear in new paperbacks and comic books to this day.
Yeah, Doc Savage is a pretty rad dude, but he’s also a very old-school ideal, so how does Black plan to update Savage for modern audiences? Well, in a new HitFix interview, Black rejects the entire idea:
“It’s up to me to keep it the way it was against a tide of people who say, ‘We don’t know who Doc Savage is, but could you cast some hot young guy in it, like Robert Pattinson?’ He’s not Doc Savage. ‘Can you update it? Can he fight Al-Qaeda?’ No, that’s not what Doc Savage is.”
Like a lot of pulp, Doc Savage could also get pretty out-there, with sci-fi, noir, fantasy and a multitude of other genres all mixing together in a crazy stew. It seems Black wants to retain that as well:
“It’s all about ingenuity and cleverness and thought. It wasn’t based on satellite tracking and this infinitude of gadgets. You have to find the clever, old-school ways that Doc gets out of traps. Back then you could still look around, and the world was full of uncharted places like Mato Grosso, or the top of Everest where you can still find a yeti. Today, if there’s a yeti we would have found him.”
Yetis! There’s no specific word on when Doc Savage might happen, although Black has said he’d like to start next year, possibly with Dwayne The Rock Johnson in the lead. We’ll see what happens, as I have a feeling Black’s somewhat inflexible approach to the material might be why Doc Savage has been in production so long. Still, if The Rock says yes, you can bet it’ll happen.