Director Shane Black has found his leading actor for the upcoming superhero film “Doc Savage.” “Fast and Furious” star Dwayne Johnson has been cast as the titular hero, who he calls “the world’s first superhero.”
The actor himself confirmed the news Monday, saying that he had sat down with screenwriters Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry, as well as Black, who is also receiving a writing credit.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film has been in production at Sony for several years. The outlet reports that as far back as 2013, Black, who wrote and directed “Iron Man 3” and the recently released “The Nice Guys,” was set to co-write and direct a “Doc Savage” adaptation. The studio reportedly had it billed as a “franchise starter.”
In a statement on his Instagram account, Johnson described his character and his excitement over the project, saying:
“It’s OFFICIAL: For all comic book fans you already know the world’s first superhero (pre-dating Superman) is the “Man of Bronze” himself Clark “Doc” Savage. Want to thank my bud director/writer Shane Black and his writing team Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry for flying in from LA and sitting with me and our @sevenbucksprod‘s producer @hhgarcia41 on this Memorial Day weekend to chop up creative and break story on this very cool project. Comic book fans around the world know that the cool thing about “Doc” Savage is that he’s the inspiration for Superman. First name Clark, called “Man of Bronze”, retreats to his “Fortress of Solitude” in the Arctic etc etc. Doc was physically and mentally trained from birth by his father and a team of scientists to become the perfect human specimen with a genius level intellect. His heightened senses are beyond comprehension. He can even identify a women’s perfume from half a mile away. He is literally the master of everything. But here’s the #1 reason I’m excited to become Doc Savage.. HE’S A F*CKING HILARIOUS WEIRDO! Confidently, yet innocently he has zero social graces whatsoever due to his upbringing so every interaction he has with someone is direct, odd, often uncomfortable and amazingly hilarious. After speaking for hours w/ Shane Black I can see why the creator of Superman took only the best parts of Doc Savage and leaving the “weirdo” part behind. But to us, it’s that “weirdo” part that makes Clark “Doc” Savage dope! Can’t wait to sink my teeth into this one of a kind character.”
Johnson has several big films in the works, including “Baywatch,” “Fast 8” and a “Jumanji” remake.
Black has said “Doc Savage” will take place in the 1930s, and production should begin sometime next year.