Dwayne Johnson Confirmed for ‘Doc Savage’

Dwayne Johnson Boost Unit
Stewart Cook/REX/Shutterstock

Dwayne Johnson is attached to star in the Sony Pictures adaptation of “Doc Savage.”

Shane Black is directing the pic from a script he co-wrote with Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry.

Black made it clear while promoting his film “The Nice Guys” that he wanted Johnson for “Doc Savage” and Johnson made it official on his Instagram account Monday morning.

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. #ItsOfficial #WorldsFirstSuperhero #GeniusIntellect #PhysicalSpecimen #FnLoveableWeirdo #ManOfBronze #DocSavage

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Johnson also announced he will also produce the pic through his Seven Bucks Productions banner with along with Hiram Garcia.

They will join Neal H. Moritz, who was previously attached to produce with Ori Marmur (“Battle: Los Angeles”) and Michael Uslan.

One of the inspirations for the Superman character, “Doc Savage” is the story of a man with superheroic levels of intelligence and strength (who happens to be a brilliant scientist, inventor, and explorer), which began as a series of pulp novels and a radio series.

Johnson already has a busy summer ahead of him with his action comedy “Central Intelligence” bowing on June 17 and his TV show “Ballers” bowing in July.

Next summer he has “Baywatch” and “Fast and Furious 8” set to come out and also has “Jumanji” bowing at Christmas 2017.

Johnson is repped by WME and Gang Tyre. Black is repped by WME and Greenlit.

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  1. Trace "Phlash" Gordin says:

    “World’s first superhero” is probably not accurate, although, I cannot say whether The Avenger (who was, I believe, created by the same author as Doc Savage), Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, The Spider, Green Hornet, Lone Ranger, The Shadow, The Phantom, or any of the other classic, pulp heroes (masked or otherwise) came first. Dolph Lundgren or Dave Bautista would also make good “Docs”, in my opinion. Dwayne Johnson, though, is a very talented, very cool guy, and I hope like hell both he and this film do Doc Savage justice. I read every Doc Savage book and comic book I could get my mitts on when I was a kid in the 1970s. I still read them for a many years after, though, by then, I was usually buying the books in Hasting’s stores and anyplace else I found them. The amazing book cover artwork, as well as the story descriptions on the back cover of the Doc paperbacks was what got me started on them. My little NW Tx hometown’s excellent library had the paperback books in the in those thick wire book racks in the middle of the place, and once I’d read my first Doc Savage book–Curse of the Qui, or something like that– I’d make a beeline to that book rack every library visit, thereafter.
    I love the campy original film starring fellow NW Texan, Ron Ely, as Doc, although, I don’t feel Doc’s team was all that well cast. Doc’s guys in the books are all tough combat vets–hooaahh!–who also excel in other fields, from chemistry to various forms of engineering to legal practice, and they’re all pretty fit, as they’d have to be, but in the film; that was not the case. Not to cast aspersions on the actors, themselves, but they were way off from anything even resembling Doc’s team, primarily in the case of Andrew Blodgett “Monk” Mayfair, and secondarily, in the case of the character known as “Renny”.
    As far as Doc being a “hilarious f*cking weirdo”: that’s a pretty disparaging description. He’s, as I recollect, no more socially “inept” than the original Sherlock Holmes (as opposed to both most of the late 20th century, and the 21st century cinema incarnations of him).
    As both Doc and Holmes had to interact with their respective colleagues, law enforcement, military personnel, innumerable civilians, as well as often use disguises and undertake undercover operations; a conspicuous stiffness or awkwardness around others would be a mission-complicating disadvantage, I should think. As much of an antisocial, somewhat anxiety-ridden, somewhat introverted loner, awkward “weirdo” as I’ve been most of my life; even I had to be able to interact with alot of other people during my time in the Army, as well as the years I was employed as a band roadie, a security officer, a bouncer in different bars, and both a school bus “monitor” and school bus driver (not all simultaneously, of course).
    Anyhow, I hope this film will be done properly and justice done to the Man of Bronze, all the classic pulp heroes, the creators, writers and artists of the aforementioned, and all of we who are the pulp heroes-loving “weirdos” out there. Please, do NOT make this another steaming, stinking, POS pile of insulting, blasphemous, septic trash like the Green Hornet movie of recent years.

  2. jimmy cagle says:

    I am a Doc Savage fan and really worried about this movie and big D as the Doc! My concern is them straying from the character and re-inventing him into a screw up like mentioned the new Green Hornet, The latest Fantastic Four, and his Hercules movie. If all these movies had stayed TRUE to the character they would have been good movies. Why go to all the expense and effort just to make a bad movie. Take the latest version of Judge Dredd. The actor put aside his ego and left the helmet on throughout the whole movie and it was really good. Stay true to this character and his Mighty 5. It could be another Indiana Jones type hit. Doc and his friends are all great characters. DONT CHANGE THEM. DONT TRY TO MAKE DOC SAVAGE A FUNNY GUY. The humor comes from his associates, not Doc. Read the books Dwayne. Please. This movie could change your whole image. You basically are the same in just about ALL your movies. Your a good actor. Step it up and make this a great movie. Introduce people to Doc Savage through you and this movie! NUFF SAID!

  3. Chris says:

    Do it right and you’ve got a great thesis to build an almost limitless source of edge of your seat adventures and mysteries with Doc and his crew- do it wrong and you’ve got another ridiculous one-off like Ron Ely’s campy flop. Doc Savage was a super-intelligent, physical marvel and leader of a group of 5 sharp, tough-guy scientific geniuses that tore their way through incredible adventures. When I hear “identify a woman’s perfume from 1/2 mile away” and “wierdo” personality, I’m left with “Oh no… I just can’t believe they’re going to screw this up again”, when it could be SO great.
    I’m convinced Johnson can do the role justice- even without the hair! Just give us a script and story that plays to the dynamic strengths of those fantastical stories and characters and stay away from hamstringing the effort with some studio/director-driven laughable reinterpretation. Doc is a Dwayne Johnson Indiana Jones with Batman devices up his sleeve, not some lame Green Hornet makeover.

  4. Dave Blevins says:

    I had all of the Doc Savage bantam novels when I was a kid, so I’ve waited a long time for a Doc Savage movie that doesn’t suck. Agree with other comments that the tone will be critical. Leave the humor to the Monk & Ham interactions. They must have the miniature machine guns that sound like a “bull fiddle”.
    Doc Savage was extremely reserved and cool. Hope the Rock can do that.

  5. minoton says:

    I’m very dubious about this. Not that Dwayne Johnson isn’t a bad actor, or has the range, but the problem is . . . he’s ‘Dwayne Johnson’. And it’ll even be more apparent when we see Dwayne Johnson with hair again. Bronze hair. Whether it’s the longer hair of the original pulp covers, or Bama widow’s peak. Doc is a very subdued personality, a person of few words, not an out-there The Rock personality. I would have preferred casting Adam Baldwin, Jane from ‘Firefly’. And Doc is not some muscle bound Sheldon Cooper type. Doc is a loner for a reason, so that criminals and villains won’t be able to get to him through those he cares for.
    They’re really going to have to get the tone of the film right, or it will fail (think of Alec Baldwin’s ‘The Shadow’). Warners needs to not meddle in this or they’ll end up with another ‘Green Lantern’. The tone needs to be serious (Warners, I said serious, not dark, not edgy). More Nolan, less Snyder. Maybe a better director would be a “Zorro” or “Casino Royale” Martin Campbell. (Yes, he did ‘Green Lantern’, but GL suffered from too much meddling from the studio suit jobs.)
    Doc Savage was also partial inspiration for Indiana Jones. So here’s Warner’s chance to create either a great recurring franchise, or a one off “John Carter”.
    Tread cautiously, Warner Bros.

  6. Fred Mertz Jr. says:

    I have seen Dwayne Johnson in person. He’s Samoan and African-Canadian-American. Up close, he looks pretty much like he’s a Man of Bronze. His skin tone and his muscle tone and his acting tone will be right on. The only tone I’m worried about, frankly, is the tone of the script.

  7. Wiley Baba says:

    I hope justice is done to a classic pulp fiction icon. Please set this in the 1930s with gyrocopters taking off from the Empire State building, Tommy guns firing sleep bullets, Doc’s utility vest containing more gadgets and chemical weapons than Batman’s belt. Sure play up Doc’s discomfort around women, but wrap it in nobility and a gentlemanly way. Capture the heroic innocence of an era that gave us the Greatest Generation. Doc was cooler than James Bond, more charitable than Mother Teresa, and more respected by law enforcement than Sherlock Holmes. Together with his five best buds they became a bachelor party on steroids, tires squealing as they pursued nefarious villains, with Monk and Ham only stopping to chat up the ever present damsels in distress doc ignores. Don’t screw this up!

    • Jojo Albon says:

      LOL — If the movie is set in the 1930’s, you’ll have a Doc Savage that can’t get a table in 75% of the restaurants in the country or a room in 90% of the hotels.

  8. Bill Turner says:

    To those not familiar with the Doc Savage Pulp Novels I hope they decide to play it straight instead of the Camp version by Ron Ely. There is also quite a cast of characters that go with Doc Savage much like the Fantastic Four which may have been inspired by Monk, Renny, Ham, Johnny, and Long Tom.

  9. EricJ says:

    Given that Doc Savage inspired the character of Race Bannon, what happened to that Jonny Quest movie Disney was going to make after Johnson worked with kids on “Race to Witch Mountain”?

  10. Spike says:

    sorry, he doesn’t look intelligent enough, he’s a f—king wrestler, for God’s sake. and when in any of his movies has he looked intelligent enough to take on this role?

    • Chris says:

      He’s an actor. He’ll do fine- if they don’t give him a personality and script that isn’t “Doc”.

    • Chris Darling says:

      It was always clear from the very beginning that Dwayne Johnson was not a wrestler, he was a very clever actor playing a wonderfully defined role. “Smell what The Rock is cooking” was a wonderful satire on wrestling, which, let’s face it is about as serious has a stomach ache. He pulled off that character with Panache and kept a straight face while he slowly climbed up the ladder of Fame to become a well-known name brand far beyond the Absorbine and jockstrap world.

      And actually, Spike he’s looked pretty intelligent in many of his roles. He’s played cops, Detectives, agents, and spies. Not exactly mindless buffoons.

    • jamaligle says:

      He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology and Physiology from the University of Miami. Just so you know. Makes him smarter than you.

      • jelly says:

        Sure, “criminology” = night watchman or Mall Cop. “Physiology” = grade school gym teacher.

      • jamaligle says:

        As said but a poor guy on the internet called “Jelly”. Sorry it took so long to respond to your witty comment, but I had better things to do, like watch moss grow on a rock.

  11. The Kevster says:

    A note to all those A-list movie stars out there: for all of you who say that you can’t consider doing premium cable TV because it won’t leave you enough time to do movies, see: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. He’s already starring in more franchise movies than you are, and yet he still has the time to do a series for HBO.

    That said: He could be a great Doc but red flags all over the place on this one, with all the emphasis on Doc being a “weirdo.”

  12. Russell Best says:

    I used to read all the Doc Savage books. I’d love to see how the film version is handled.

  13. jelly says:

    Love the Rock but’s he’s too dark skinned ethnic to be Doc Savage. Stop the insanity – don’t care how much on-screen experience the Rock has!

    • Chris says:

      What part of “bronze skinned physical marvel” does the Rock miss?

    • Fred Mertz says:

      You’ve got two pretty racist comments on this page, jelly. Maybe you should stop commenting and go back to sewing those nice little pointed hats you make out of pillowcases.

    • jamaligle says:

      from Wikipedia:
      Doc Savage is described as being a bronze giant with fleck-gold eyes and hair slightly darker bronze in hue than his skin. Dent frequently referred to Doc Savage using metaphors such as “metallic” and “statue of bronze”, especially in the pre-WW2 adventures. In the first novel, THE MAN OF BRONZE, Doc’s height is 6 feet exactly. Six years afterwords in HEX he has grown an additional eight inches.
      So, once again you show your ignorance about the character and the man himself.

  14. Nanny Mo says:

    Hard call. When Johnson is on he’s good, when he’s off, his acting is the worst. But, perhaps he hasn’t had a director yet that knows how to direct him?

  15. Ian says:

    Can anyone replace Ron Ely as Doc Savage… Man of Bronze????

    • Fred Mertz Jr. says:

      Bubbles the One-Eyed Chimp could replace Ron Ely as Doc Savage. That was the worst film and the biggest letdown I ever experienced. As a Doc Savage fanatic, who had read ever single Bantam pocketbook reprint of the amazing Savage stories from the 1930s, I was thrilled when they announced the production of a Man of Bronze movie. The first photos even looked promising… until I looked at Doc’s belt buckle, which had the Bantam “Doc Savage” logo printed on it and my heart sank.

      They weren’t taking it seriously.

      This must serve as a warning to Messrs Black, et al. Doc Savage is not a hilarious weirdo. That won’t work. He’s not the guy from “Scorpion” on CBS. Kenneth Robeson’s vision of Doc Savage was a man of pure intellect and science; he was the streamlined future; he was the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The last time, they played him camp, and used John Phillip Souza music in the score. They blew it.

      Read “Red Snow,” one of the best Savage stories. Emulate that tone. An action film that scares the shit out of you. Capture the menace and the mood. Give Doc a plain belt buckle and I’ll be there.

      • Chris says:

        I’m with you, Fred- this CAN be great, if they just do Doc Savage and not “let’s make up a movie with some doofus named Doc Savage in it.”

      • EricJ says:

        The Ron Ely was trying to follow what was the lead in ’75 comic-book movies, namely to go goofy and retro tongue-in-cheek like Adam West’s Batman. It was a different time, back then.
        (Not to mention producer George Pal was near the end of his career–Pal was the 50’s and early 60’s, but he was so -not- the 70’s.)

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