Shane Black Talks DOC SAVAGE Adaptation

Now that Iron Man 3 has established writer-turned-director Shane Black as an action director who can work on big name properties, he is turning attention to bringing one of the original pulp action heroes to the big screen – Doc Savage.

Black has been attached to the project for some time and recently he spoke with IGN about how he will adapt the iconic 190s adventure hero for the new millennium.

Obviously in the books, there’s an element of goody-goody that we like. But that kind of perfect hero who never makes mistakes is great to a point, and the type of adventure and pulp it represents is so imitated. We needed something more cerebral.

We’ve beefed up the rationale behind what it would take to be the perfect person and to be trained as such from childhood and how that would scar someone and what it would take to be a parent who is capable of inflicting that on a kid. But beyond that, we’re also trying to be true to the series.

DocSavageBlack acknowledges that the character is certainly a tough one to find the right actor for.

They kind of gotta be tall. He’s the perfect physical specimen and when people look at him, they’re overawed by the sort of symmetry and perfection he exudes. You need someone magnetic and someone a little bit off because that’s the fun of the character. He’s been secluded from people and kept from any social niceties for so long that he’s become a savant.

Ron Ely stepped into Doc’s boots for producer George Pal’s 1975 adaptation of the pulp character and while he, and the rest of the actors cast as Doc’s five assistants, were physically great picks for their roles, the film’s too campy tone turned off fans of the character as well as general audiences.

Black has stated in the past that he has been a longtime Doc Savage fan, and as a fan of the Man of Bronze’s adventures for over 25 years myself, he does sound as if he has given a lot of thought to how preserve the best parts of the character through the adaptation process. I am anxious to see the results.

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About Rich Drees 7059 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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