While director Shane Black (Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys) has stated in the past that he was hoping to garner superstar Dwayne Johnson to play the titular pulp hero Doc Savage, a post on The Rock’s Facebook page has now made his casting official! Check out the post below, in which the actor makes a smart breakdown of why the “Man of Bronze” is such an important character (he’s basically the world’s first superhero), whom Johnson calls “A F*CKING HILARIOUS WEIRDO!”
Thor actor Chris Hemsworth had previously been considered to play Doc Savage (real name Clark Savage, Jr.) for Shane Black back in 2014. Earlier this year the filmmaker broke the news to Thrillist about who his real choice for the role was.
“Doc Savage is sort of in the ether now,” Black stated in March. “We’re hoping to make it sometime next year. I would very much like to do Doc with a fellow named Dwayne Johnson if we can make that work. I made a decision that Dwayne is the guy. It’s on the back burner while he’s busy.”
Pulp publisher Henry W. Ralston and editor John L. Nanovic created “Doc Savage” in 1933 with a run of 181 individual stories, later reissued as paperbacks. Trained from birth by his scientist father to have superhuman abilities, Savage is a physician, surgeon, scientist, adventurer, inventor, explorer, researcher, and musician with incredible strength, endurance, a photographic memory, martial arts mastery as well as a master of disguise. A much-maligned movie Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze was released by Warner Bros. in 1975, produced by George Pal and starring Ron Ely.
Black will direct Doc Savage for Sony Pictures from a script he has co-written with Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry. Neal H. Moritz is producing the project with Ori Marmur through his Original Film banner alongside Johnson and Hiram Garcia through their Seven Bucks Productions. Michael Uslan will also serve as a producer on the film. No release date is set.
Black is currently preparing to shoot The Predator for 20th Century Fox this fall for a February 9, 2018 release. The ever-busy Johnson has Central Intelligence coming out on June 17, and just completed filming on the Baywatch movie. He’ll also team with comedians Jack Black and Kevin Hart for Jake Kasdan’s Jumanji reboot and is signed to play supervillain Black Adam in New Line’s Shazam! movie.