In today’s report stating that Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3 helmer Shane Black had become attached to write a treatment for and direct Sony’s Predator reboot, The Hollywood Reporter also dropped an interesting morsel about another high-profile project that Black is currently attached to. Apparently, Thor star Chris Hemsworth may be Black’s first choice to lead pulp adaptation Doc Savage, which has been long thought to be his next directing gig after Iron Man 3.
The project is still a priority over at Sony Pictures, though there’s a lot of uncertainty around the film’s budget at the moment, which is slowing down development. If Hemsworth, a highly in-demand actor who has thriller Cyber and Nathaniel Philbrick adaptation Heart of the Sea in the can, does decide to come aboard, expect Doc Savage to move forward quickly.
The title character is described as “a mix of Sherlock Holmes’ deductive abilities, Tarzan’s outstanding physical abilities, Craig Kennedy’s scientific education, and Abraham Lincoln’s goodness.” In other words, he’s a pretty stellar example of everything a pulp fiction hero should be. Hemsworth, who last showed off some sizeable dramatic chops in Rush, seems like a great choice for the role. Not only is he physically intimidating at 6’3″, but he can also actually act – a rare and sought-after combination in Hollywood.
Doc Savage is a project that’s near and dear to Black’s heart, but his desire to maintain the 1930s setting might not sit too well with Sony. That’s another reason why Hemsworth would be a good choice – a star of his stature would likely do wonders to increase studio confidence (though after Iron Man 3, it’s more than a little frustrating that Black is actually still needing to fight studios to fulfill his creative vision).
At the moment, it looks like The Nice Guys is further along in development than Doc Savage, so that film noir might end up being Black’s next project (unless Fox wants to push Predator through right away). Regardless of when it happens, I’m excited to see Black bring Doc Savage to the big screen.