Iron Man 3 director Shane Black has signed on for a Doc Savage movie, representatives from Sony Pictures Entertainment announced on Tuesday.
The feature will be directed and co-written by Black, who handled the same chores on the megalithic third film of the Iron Man franchise, which in one week has grossed more than $700 million worldwide, according to The Wrap.
For those unfamiliar with the radio, film, and television, pulp character, Savage is an adventurer, scientist, inventor, explorer, and researcher with considerable strength, a photographic memory, and overwhelming intelligence.
The character was at the pinnacle of his popularity in the 1930s and ’40s, but with Shane Black now “hot” again — and as the filmmaker’s next project — a Doc Savage movie could revitalize the character.
Stranger things have happened. Iron Man was a mildly successful superhero for Marvel prior to the first film, and while original director Jon Favreau and star Robert Downey, Jr., deserve much of the credit for bringing the character to the front of pop culture, Black has proven with the success of Iron Man 3 that this is a sandbox in which he can definitely play.
Hannah Minghella, Sony’s president of production, issued the following statement on Tuesday:
“We [Sony] couldn’t be more excited to be building a franchise from the ground up with Shane and this team … Shane and Neal have a fantastic understanding of the character and a great take on the material and we can’t wait to get this production up and running.”
Franchise? That’s right. Sony foresees multiple films out of this, but they’re going to need a star who can really own the character in the way that Downey, Jr., has with Tony Stark.
In other words, Black can’t do it alone. Maybe Robert Downey, Jr., has room for one more franchise? Given Black’s feelings for the actor, it’s certainly a possibility. (And those feelings are mutual, by the way.)
Who do you think should star in the Doc Savage movie? Someone familiar or a complete unknown? And what do you think about Sony picking Iron Man 3 director Shane Black for the project?