Shane Black talks DOC SAVAGE

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Much like how geeks all had their “See, I told you!” moment when the rest of the world finally realized the awesomeness of Joss Whedon with The Avengers, so too could action-movie buffs celebrate when Shane Black – the man responsible for some of the coolest action flicks of the 90’s – made it big with Iron Man 3.

For his next flick though, Black has decided to tackle a decidedly less high-tech hero in pulp classic Doc Savage.

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Collider managed to meet up with Black at the recent Saturn Awards, where he spoke about what drew him to the project as well as what tone we should be expecting from the action adventure.

“Doc Savage is a personal film to me.  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.”

I’m a sucker for films based on 1930’s and 40’s pulp characters (The Shadow, The Phantom, The Rocketeer and more), as that era had a very distinct set of visual sensibilities that lent themselves really well to these types of adventurous heroes. Updating those character to modern times would certainly lose a lot of their charm, which is exactly why Black is not doing that with Doc Savage.

“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’.  The idea of ‘What if Jimmy Stewart were a stone-cold killer?’ basically.  It’s that kind of combination which we enjoy.”

“Stone-cold killer” may be a bit too harsh a description for the polymath Doc Savage – an adventurer, scientist, inventor, crime fighter and more – something that Black realized as he corrected himself a few minutes later.

“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.”

And handled correctly, a Doc Savage movie could potentially kill at the box office. And even if it doesn’t, I just want to see more Shane Black!

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Now as for who to cast as the Bronze skinned adventurer, Jon Hamm gets my vote. That guy is just far too talented to not have landed his big cinematic break yet. So just hand the man some creatine and slather on some bronzer and hey presto, you have your Doc Savage.

Last Updated: July 1, 2013

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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