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.
Buried 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.