Hollywood has long been interested in adapting pulp hero Doc Savage to the screen, but even though various movie versions have been in the works over the years, it seems like the Man of Bronze is heading to television instead. Sony Pictures Television is developing a Doc Savage TV series from Condé Nast Entertainment and Original Film, the Sony-based production company run by Fast & Furious producer Neal H. Moritz.
Deadline brings word about the new Doc Savage show, revealing that it “will chronicle his adventures, featuring rampaging dinosaurs, secret societies led by dastardly villains, fantastic gadgets and weapons, death-dealing traps, hair-raising escapes, and plots to rule the earth.”
Remember when you were a kid, playing superheroes in the yard with friends, and there was always that one kid who made up a character that was way better than everyone else’s to the point of the game not even being fun anymore? Doc Savage is basically the character that kid would make up on the spot. First created for pulp comics in the 1930s, Clark Savage Jr. was basically a superhero, but technically didn’t have any actual super powers. Instead, he was only a musician, inventor, physician, scientist, explorer, a master of disguise, and a detective who was also a genius, blessed with an eidetic memory, peak physical prowess, and had mastered martial arts.
Since 2009, Original Film and Sony had been working with writer/director Shane Black (Iron Man 3, The Predator) on a movie version of Doc Savage, which was eying Chris Hemsworth in the lead role and eventually locked down Dwayne Johnson to star instead. But after a couple more years in development, that version eventually ended up going nowhere. Deadline says that while all that was happening, producer Moritz “began contemplating a small-screen adaptation. He felt like, with hundreds of characters and myriad stories featured in the books, the Doc Savage IP would be better served as a TV series where there is more time to explore characters.”
This won’t be Moritz’s first time adapting a comic property for television: he’s previously worked on The Boys, Preacher, and Happy! No writers, actors, or directors have been attached to this TV iteration yet, but whoever ultimately comes on board will have to deal with the “Superman problem” inherent to this character: they’ll need to present a string of compelling conflicts for a guy who can basically do it all.
In addition to comics and radio shows, Doc Savage was featured once in a movie, 1975’s ultra-campy Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze, starring Ron Ely. Check out the trailer below:
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