Shane Black Wrestles With Doc Savage

Let him do right to all.

Screenwriter and latterday director Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) went bowling with Harry Knowles over the weekend, and revealed that he's working on a Doc Savage script, for the ubiquitous producing duo Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.

A Doc Savage project has long been in development hell; mooted as an Arnie vehicle a decade ago. A classic "adventurer", the character stems from the pulp magazines of the 30s and 40s. Described by principle writer Lester Dent as a cross between Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan and Abraham Lincoln, Clark Savage Jr was trained as a youth by a team of scientists who made him practically superhuman: the colour of his skin, eyes and hair lent him the alias The Man of Bronze. He appeared in getting on for 200 novels between 1933 and 1949 (not to mention a handful in the 1990s), plus comics, a radio series, and a camp low-budget George Pal movie in 1975.

According to Black, his script will be firmly set in the 30s, from which he believes Savage is "inseparable", and will be an original story that "attempts to encapsulate the feeling of the whole collection of Lester Dent's work". He'll also be including the Doc's backup team The Fabulous Five: a chemist, a lawyer, an archaeologist, a builder, and an electrician. There used to be a plumber, but he got fired.*

No details of possible cast or director yet, but with those producers and that writer, Doc Savage is suddenly a going concern.

*Not true.