Writer and director Shane Black is eager to move from Iron Man to the Man of Bronze. The Iron Man 3 director helped Marvel Studios gross $1.2 billion worldwide and parlayed that success into a deal with Sony to make a movie based on pulp hero Doc Savage.
Black spoke with Collider about the film’s setting and tone, which reflect the character’s pulp roots. “We’re shooting it as though it’s in the ’30s, including all the Capra-esque elements of 1930s films like You Can’t Take It With You,” he said. “The idea of ‘What if Jimmy Stewart were a stone-cold killer?’ basically. It’s that kind of combination which we enjoy.”
The director later contacted the site to clarify the point, writing, “The line I so blithely tossed off, ‘what if Jimmy Stewart were a stone cold killer, is a bit misleading. Doc Savage had the abilities of a fighting machine but truly the soul of a pacifist. He always tempered his violent skills with kindness and a social conscience, preferring never to take human life. So, um, perhaps my quote should have more accurately read, ‘potential’ killer.”
Black has been wanting to turn Doc Savage into a big-screen blockbuster for a while. “Doc Savage is a personal film to me,” he said. “It’s a 1930s pulp character so it hasn’t been around for 75 years or so, but people if they’re introduced to it they’ll get to know, hopefully, what I came to love as a kid. I’ve read those series’ for 43 years and always wanted to figure out how to crack it.”
Black is working on the script with co-writers Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry. The next big step for the film will be finding the perfect actor to embody the Jimmy Stewart-esque performance while also filling the impressive physicality of the character.