Chris Hemsworth Could Lead Shane Black’s DOC SAVAGE

     June 24, 2014


Filmmaker Shane Black has been a pretty integral part of the moviemaking community of the last two decades.  He penned the screenplays for Lethal Weapon, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Last Action Hero, co-wrote The Monster Squad, and did uncredited rewrites on a number of other major projects (including Predator).  His noir-esque 2005 feature Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which he also directed, is damn near perfect, and after the success of Iron Man 3, I was eager to see what he’d tackle next—on a large-scale canvas, no doubt.  The pulp adaptation Doc Savage emerged as his likely Iron Man 3 follow-up, and the prospect of seeing Black tackle a hero story set in the 1930s was wildly enticing.

Movement on Doc Savage has been a bit slow in the past year, at least as far as we’ve heard, but now an update has surfaced with the news that Black has met with another Marvel cohort, Chris Hemsworth, about tackling the starring role in the film.  More after the jump.

doc-savage-chris-hemsworthBuried in THR’s report on the recent news that Black has become attached to co-write and direct a Predator reboot for Fox is a brief update on Doc Savage.  The report notes that the project is still a priority for Sony Pictures, but budgetary issues are making it unclear when it would actually shoot.  Regardless, THR notes that Black has met with Chris Hemsworth for the title role, a character that has been described as “a mix of Sherlock Holmes’ deductive abilities, Tarzan’s outstanding physical abilities, Craig Kennedy’s scientific education, and Abraham Lincoln’s goodness.”  

Hemsworth actually feels like a really solid choice to lead Doc Savage, and though he isn’t given the opportunity to express much range in the Marvel universe, his turn in last year’s Rush was excellent.  Black previously said that whoever he casts as Doc Savage has to be tall, adding, “He’s the perfect physical specimen and when people look at him, they’re overawed by the sort of symmetry and perfection that he exudes.”  Sounds like Hemsworth alright.  And if that casting doesn’t work out, my colleague Matt’s previous suggestion of Armie Hammer is kind of spot on as well.

It’s starting to look like the 1970s crime movie The Nice Guys might be Black’s next film if his cast comes together, but I really hope Doc Savage doesn’t fall by the wayside.  It’s likely an expensive project given its period setting, but c’mon Sony, Black’s not gonna muck this one up.


  • Cedhollywood

    This will go the way in reception just like The Phantom and John Carter.

    • Django9000

      Several reasons that wouldn’t be the case- Hems worth ‘ s a far better actor.
      And that this is unbelievably perfect casting. With the nearest Indy Jones on screen analogue being Nicholas Cages National treasure, this – as the actual basis of Indiana Jones, stands a far better chance of appealing to the masses.

    • Caractacus Jack

      Maybe. It really depends on whether Black has a better take on DOC SAVAGE than the filmmakers did on THE PHANTOM, and if Sony chooses to advertise the movie like they have something as opposed to Disney’s bury-it-and-hope-nobody-notices advertising campaign for JOHN CARTER. Assuming both of those pitfalls are avoided, it could turn out very good.

      It might fail, but at least will be something different and cool. Much better than trotting out yet another sequel or remake.

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  • Mike

    I just read this article and then went down to the next and had to do a double take when a saw Shane Black mentioned again. No word I him for awhile and then 2 developments back to back.

  • October_1985

    “Though you may not have been entirely familiar with his name when he was announced as the director of Iron Man 3″…Who are you writting for? 10 year olds? How can anybody not know who is Shane Black??

  • Publicola

    Was I the only person who misread the film’s title here as “Dr. Strange” instead of “Doc Savage”? Both with two words, one short one long, both starting with ‘D’ and ‘S’… oh, and the director and prospective star are Marvel mainstays. I didn’t figure it out until I saw the 10-cent cover image below the ‘fold.’ Yeesh.

  • eternalozzie

    Chris Hemsworth? just no.

  • Polarboy

    One thing that might be tricky with this is the fact that Doc Savage superhero wise might seem derivative to some when in fact he pre-dates both Superman and Batman. For example the idea for Superman’s fortress of solitude was lifted straight from Doc Savage, and of course the idea of the ultimate human specimen in mind and body seems very close to Batman and subsequent non-meta human superhero’s.

  • Chris

    Shane Black completely made a mess with Iron Man 3, and Chris Hemsworth is not really an interesting actor, Bruehl acted circles around him in Rush. So I gladly pass!

    • Polarboy

      To dismiss Black because of Iron Man 3 is myopic in the extreme when you consider his previous work and the fact that big studio films are often inferred with and indeed there was murmurings of just that in this case.

      Marvel’s interconnectivity is a nice trick but can be quite limiting to any director that has a very singular vision, case in point what has happened with Edgar Wright and the Antman movie.

      • Chris

        Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is one of my favorite movies and SB did an amazing job writing and directing it, but IM3 had nothing of the fun, offbeat and special vibe KKBB had. Maybe Marvel did not give him the freedom he wished, but as far as I remember SB himself came up with that lame kid middle section which added nothing to the movie other than making it a typical lame Disney movie. IM3 was full of shtick, cliche and lame jokes

      • Polarboy

        Well I don’t know what he did and didn’t come up with himself but anything can seem lame if it isn’t fully realised or paired back because of being told to shoehorn in studio mandated plot points.

        Obviously I’m using quite a bit of conjecture but the point I’m trying to make is that you don’t lose the sort of talent that Black has in such a short time and perhaps he should be given the benefit of the doubt.

  • Strong Enough

    i need this movie in my life

  • NeoGeo12

    He said that his concept was basically taking a Jimmy Stewart type and turning him into a killer. If its the same idea then Chris Hemworth would be hard to buy in the role.

    • The Flobbit

      Not really. Hemsworth looks the part, is a charming guy, and has the skill…

  • bidi

    Hemsworth is a great choice. and if it doesn’t work out then he could go to his Nice Guys star Ryan Gosling

  • TheMuppetManiac

    I always say stuff like The Phantom, The Spirit, The Shadow and others will always bomb at the box office. I do think Doc Savage could be the exception to the rule though. I think adventure stories translate better. And while The Phantom could be a cool adventure movie, I don’t think anyone cares about a guy in purple running around though. But I have faith in Shane Black and I really want to see this do well.

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  • Boone

    Just make it happen too(like the Predator’s reboot). Shane Black is a mad genius.

  • Simon Foster

    Is Hollywood really so short of actors that we need to have people playing multiple superheroes? Chris Evans has played 2, Ryan Reynolds has played at least 2, Aaron Taylor-Johnson is about to play his 2nd, I’m sure there’s others too..,.can’t we find someone else to play in this sphere? I’m all for these guys having employment but these are iconic roles and deserve the uniqueness of a star who wasn’t in last year’s superhero blockbuster as well.

  • Carmella

    Go get Alan Ritchson.

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