It was pretty much a given that Kiss Kiss Bang Bang helmer Shane Black would have some heat coming off of directing the $1.5 billion-grossing Iron Man 3, but the guy is amassing a seriously stacked docket of upcoming projects. The latest one to be added is an adaptation of the long-running Warren Murphy book series The Destroyer. Sony Pictures announced today that Black will direct a feature film adaptation of the adventure series, with Fight Club scribe Jim Uhls penning the screenplay alongside James Mullaney. The story follows Newark cop Remo Williams, who is framed, sentenced to death, executed, and then resurrected in order to serve as the enforcement arm for a top-secret division of the US government called CURE. The Dark Knight and Man of Steel producer Charles Roven will produce.
Hit the jump for more on The Destroyer movie and Black’s current slate of upcoming projects.
In addition to The Destroyer, Black is also attached to co-write and direct Doc Savage for Sony, which is an adaptation of a series of pulp novels that focus on an adventuresome hero in the 1930s. He also has another exciting project called Nice Guys that was just picked up by Warner Bros., which is a 1970s-set noir picture that revolves around a muscle-for-hire and a private detective. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are circling the leads, and last we heard that was shaping up to possibly be Black’s next film.
If that wasn’t enough, Black is also developing a Predator sequel to direct. Monster Squad scribe Fred Dekker is currently writing the screenplay, so that one’s a bit further off.
It’s not specified if The Destroyer usurps Doc Savage at Sony with regards to timing, but Black has been a fan of the original book series since its inception in 1971 and it feels like a swell fit for the filmmaker. The source material was previously adapted into a feature film in the 1985 pic Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, but the Fred Ward-fronted feature was largely forgotten.
In addition to lead Remo Williams, the story also includes a seemingly ageless Asian assassin known as Chiun, who acts as Williams’ companion on his many missions to “clean up” and take out those who oppose America’s interests. Shane Black taking on satirical capers with a mystical element? Yes please.
Watch the trailer for the 1985 film below, followed by the press release.
LOS ANGELES, CA, AUGUST 21, 2014 – Sony Pictures Entertainment announced today Shane Black will direct the film adaptation of the popular adventure book series THE DESTROYER by Warren Murphy. Penning the screenplay are Jim Uhls (Fight Club) and James Mullaney; Mullaney co-authored and became the sole writer of THE DESTROYER until the series’ end in 2008. Charles Roven, Steven Chasman, and Andy Horwitz will produce. Michael De Luca and Lauren Abrahams will oversee for Sony Pictures Entertainment.
THE DESTROYER is based on the series of paperback novels in which Newark cop Remo Williams is framed, sentenced to death, then resurrected following a botched execution. The reason? To serve as enforcement arm for CURE, a top-secret, extra-Constitutional arm of the U.S. government. Along with a seemingly ageless – and often hilarious – Asian assassin known only as Chiun, Williams sets out to “clean up” and take out those who oppose America’s interests. The surprisingly-heartfelt stories combine edgy old-school suspense with Eastern mysticism to produce unique, rapid-fire capers full of slick banter, social satire, and sudden violence.
“Shane has been a fan of the original DESTROYER book series since its inception and he has an incredible vision for this film. Atlas couldn’t be more fortunate to be working with this talented director on this material,” said Charles Roven of Atlas Entertainment. “The narrative Jim and James have created is incredibly rich and while it’s a story rooted in adventure, it is also very much character driven.”
“The Destroyer is a two-fisted classic and deserves no less than the genius of Shane Black,” said Michael De Luca, president of Production for Columbia Pictures. “We couldn’t be more excited about his vision for this character.”
Shane Black is currently attached to co-write and direct DOC SAVAGE, based on the hero of pulp novels, films, and comic books, for Columbia Pictures. Black most recently wrote and directed IRON MAN 3, which became the fifth highest grossing film of all time worldwide. He began his career in screenwriting, making his mark with LETHAL WEAPON and collaborating on its sequel. Black’s directorial debut came in 2005 with his critically acclaimed KISS KISS BANG BANG starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Val Kilmer.
Jim Uhls is best known for having written the screenplay for the classic film FIGHT CLUB directed by David Fincher. Subsequently he has written a number of films and television shows, having worked with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Doug Liman, and Shane Black, to name a few. Jim began his career as an original member of The Actors Gang when it was founded at UCLA.
James Mullaney is a Shamus Award-nominated novelist who has written 37 books, as well as comics and short stories. He is author of the Red Menace series of spy thrillers and the comic-fantasy-noir Crag Banyon Mysteries detective series.
Black is represented by WME and David Greenblatt of GreenLit Creative. Uhls is represented by Paradigm and Anonymous Content. Mullaney is represented by David Greenblatt as well.