Doc Savage Film News – Shane Black Edition

Chuck Welch
October 25, 2009 - article / film

Harry Knowles (Ain’t it Cool News) recently spoke to Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) : “When I asked him what he was working on, he shocked me with the revelation that he was going to be writing a script for DOC SAVAGE, which Orci & Kurtzman (those STAR TREK, EAGLE EYE, TRANSFORMERS guys) were producing.”

Of course, that set Flearun abuzz. There’s more speculation at SlashFilm.com (Shane Black Scribing a Doc Savage Movie for Star Trek Producers) and FilmSchoolRejects.com (Shane Black Bringing ‘Doc Savage’ Back To The Big Screen?)

In the tradition of Doc Savage newsgroups, here’s my cast (at least, who I’d pick this afternoon):

Doc: Jason Statham
Monk: Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Ham: Christian Bale
Johnny: Neil Patrick Harris
Renny: Mekhi Phifer
Long Tom: Jim Sturgess

Doc’s Father: Bruce Willis
Patricia Savage: Liv Tyler

Female Lead: Claire Danes
Antagonist: Tim Roth



Harry Knowles (Ain’t it Cool News) recently spoke to Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) : “When I asked him what he was working on, he shocked me with the revelation that he was going to be writing a script for DOC SAVAGE, which Orci & Kurtzman (those STAR TREK, EAGLE EYE, TRANSFORMERS guys) were producing.”

Of course, that set Flearun abuzz. There’s more speculation at SlashFilm.com (Shane Black Scribing a Doc Savage Movie for Star Trek Producers) and FilmSchoolRejects.com (Shane Black Bringing ‘Doc Savage’ Back To The Big Screen?)

In the tradition of Doc Savage newsgroups, here’s my cast (at least, who I’d pick this afternoon):

Doc: Jason Statham
Monk: Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Ham: Christian Bale
Johnny: Neil Patrick Harris
Renny: Mekhi Phifer
Long Tom: Jim Sturgess

Doc’s Father: Bruce Willis
Patricia Savage: Liv Tyler

Female Lead: Claire Danes
Antagonist: Tim Roth

Comments

  1. Bill Byrd says:

    Doc: Statham for Doc I can see.
    Johnny & Ham: I don’t see Harris as Johnny, or Bale as Ham, perhaps Harris as Ham, that might work, though you really need a “pretty boy” to play Ham, such as, I hate to say it, deCaprio or Pitt.
    Renny: Interesting pick on Renny, and I might go for it if it were a modern Doc, but remember that Renny was a world respected engineer of the 30’s.
    Clark Savage Sr.: Bruce Willis as the father is interesting, since Doc’s father was an adventurer as well, Willis seems to have that character well from the Die Hards.
    Pat Savage: personally, I’d prefer they left Pat out of it. Not a big fan. She does not bring enough to the stories to justify interrupting the dynamic of the Fabulous 5, although if you must include her, I guess Liv will work. She can pull off the action and she’s certainly easy on the eyes.
    Monk: No, not PSH, He’s just wrong. Monk needs to be apelike, in other words, under the so-ugly-he’s-kinda-cute, short figure needs to be the undercurrent of very powerful man, someone who can rip a man’s arm out of its socket if he’s angry. that’s not Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

  2. Jack says:

    I love Jason Statham as much as anyone, but Doc Savage is not a part for him. Sadly, I can’t think of anyone who would be good, so my denouncement is merely half-hearted.

  3. Steve Nagy says:

    That is great news. I’m not a big fan of the George Pal film, if only because it didn’t work out and we didn’t get more Doc movies. So, a chance to get it done again (and hopefully done right) is welcome. :-)

  4. Harry says:

    I’d go with Dwayne (the Rock) Johnson for Doc. He has the physical stature, the acting ability, and the ability to act with a dry sense of humor that I think that Doc’s actor will really need.

  5. Don says:

    IF true, this is awesome news. As for the 1975 film produced by Pal…was a tragedy. As a diehard Doc Savage fan, that film was highly offensive and wrong in every way. It was a joke, and not funny at that.

    Cast for new film, I would propose the following:

    Doc Savage – Stephen Lang (Tone this guy up, get him up to speed on Doc Savage in character and boom…he’s it)

    Monk – Ron Pearlman (cmon, Hoffman? A great actor yes, but Monk? No way)

    Ham – Pierce Brosnan. Just pretty enough to pull it off, but still very capable in a fight.

    Renny – Paul Walker maybe..have to ehance him for the role a bit with makeup

    Johnny – Adrian Brody or Jeff Goldblum

    Long Tom – Jim Sturgess…with some makeup, sure why not.

    Bruce Willis as the father? Why not…his role will be small of course.

    Please keep Pat out until they make a 3rd or 4th movie…

    Liv as female lead? Why not. There are a dozen hollywood bombshells that could play the female lead, though.

  6. Don says:

    Sorry, Liv or Claire as female lead would work.

  7. John Contreras says:

    Guys they are doing the movie true to the pulps.So you need people who would look like they BELONG in the 1930s.So Doc-Paul walker…Renny-John C. Rielly…Johnny-David Hyde Pierce…Long Tom-Tim Blake Nelson…Ham-Sasha Baron Cohen…Monk-Mark Wahlberg…Savage,Sr-John Mahoney…Pat-Scarlett Johansson…Villian-John Malkovich….ask ANY woman who Paul Walker is and they just go-off.Need comedy relief from the FIVE and Wahlberg is the perfect birddog/badboy tough guy.And Malkovich is psychotic evil as John Sunlight.You DONT need big names to pull this off just a script and cast true to the original,Sincereli John Contreras

  8. Charles Rice says:

    It would be almost Imposible to get the right colletion of people to make Doc and his gang really work with who we have now as actors. Now go back to the 40’s
    and here is my list
    Doc Savage John Wayne
    Renny (Ward Bond
    Long Tom Jimmy Stewart
    Johhy Donald Oconor (Yes I think he woud have done a great Serious roll)
    Ham Errol Flyne
    Monk Ros Martin (Artimus Gordon on the wild wild west tv show)
    Moreene Oharah as Pat Savage

    Although Heres another Idea
    From the Cast of NCIS and other places
    Doc The Rock (Remember Doc was the youngest of them all)
    Renny Hulk Hogan
    Johnny Proby on NCIS
    Long Tom Mark Harmon
    Ham I can’t think of hie name but the Italian Guy
    Monk Petter Falk (Make him look younger He would be perfect.
    Pat Yhe beautiful lady who plays Ziva. Why her you ask???
    She looks beautiful in both forman where and grubbie. Just like Pat.

    Well I hope you like my 2nd Idea we unfortunately can’t do the first.
    Anyone just surfing in go to your nearest Used bookstore and see if they have any of the paperback reprints of Doc Savege before number 100 Read it you won’t be sorry (Any after 100 other writers helped our author and Doc starts becoming more human unfortunately toooooo human.
    Thanks for letting me give you my Ideas.

    Chuck Rice

  9. Scott E. Hileman says:

    Hi, new here, but wanted to add my two bits.

    Doc: I would kind of side with Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. While there are definitely some aspects of Stratham that are Doc-like, but not all. Maybe there is a great unknown out there that is yet to be discovered.

    Monk- Jack Black. Yeah, that Jack Black. Just watch the recent King Kong re-make with Jack and others in the snakepit, and Jack goes apes***. Not to say that he doesn’t need a little help in the transition. Get the make up artist that turned Mickey Rourke into Marv for SIN CITY, to help with the transition. Although, I’d have to say the above choice of Ron Perlman might work.

    Ham-I would pick someone like Pierce Brosnan. It is sad but I think the former Bond is just a little long in the tooth to play the waspish Theodore Marley Brooks.

    Johnny-Doug Jones. Known more for his creature performances, the man is an actor of tall, and very skinny build. Plus, I think he would jump at the chance to play something other than a monster or the Silver Surfer.

    Renny-Brad Garrett should play the tall, dour engineer with the booming voice. If not him, maybe someone like the leonine Liam Neesen.

    Long Tom-I think someone with the general look of David Hyde Pierce is a good template. But, I think Pierce is alittle too…metrosexual for Long Tom.

    Pat- a few years ago, I would have said Angelina Jolie, but I don’t think that work anymore. Plus, I don’t think she would really fit well into the first movie.

  10. TRB says:

    Coming Soon News has just announced that Shane Black will direct DOC SAVAGE from a screenplay he is writing with Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry. Neal Moritz will produce through his Sony-based Original Film.

    http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=63552

  11. gary stevenson says:

    Wow, I thought I was the only one who thought Jack Black should be Monk.
    The other two guys who come to mind are Paul Giamatti or Jason Alexander. Stay with me on this-whoever plays Monk will need to be buried under a ton of prosthetics anyway. If they’re gonna do it right Monk has to look like a cross between a caveman and an orangutan, and an A-list heavyweight actor won’t go for this ordeal for more than one film.

    Doc…I’ll throw my hat into Dwayne Johnson’s camp.

    Ham…Adrian Brody or Jason Isaacs. Brent Spiner would be interesting.

    Renny…Yeah, Brad Garret from “Everybody Loves Raymond”

    Long Tom…There’s a great character actor named Frank Whaley who usually plays twerpy psychoes or establishment nerds. Bleach his hair and give him a gold tooth and he’s it.

    Johnny…Anybody like Ryan Stiles from the old Drew Carey show?

    I say leave Pat out of it, as well as Habeas and Chemistry.

    Since this is going to be an “original story” I don’t think they’ll bring John Sunlight into it. Too bad, ’cause I’d like to see Charles Dance (the bad guy from “The Golden Child”) try it. He can be suave and totally evil at the same time.

    Anyway, just my two cents here. The cast will be whomever the producers choose and lots of us will probably be bummed because a particular actor isn’t OUR idea of the character, but remember; everybody was screaming bloody murder over Michael Keaton playing BATMAN, and he wound up being excellent.

  12. Nevlo says:

    Adam Baldwin as Doc Savage. Nathan Fillion as The Avenger.

  13. RDC says:

    Renny – Thomas Haden Church (Sandman in Spiderman 3)

  14. RDC says:

    And definitely Dwayne Johnson for Doc

  15. Mike Adkins says:

    The Rock as the Doc??? We need a Man of Bronze, not the man of tan. Physically, yes. Image-wise??? Acting wise??? I’d only be convinced by a screen test.

  16. Lambastian says:

    The Stat for the Man of Bronze are you F-ing mad! Have you not read the source material. For one the Stat is not capable of doing a good American accent. Two he cannot act and three he’s short and bald!

    Now Daniel Craig he’ll make a Good Doc or even get Patrick Wilson in the gym!

    As for the Fabulous Five I’d Suggest Adrian Brody he’d be a convincing Long Tom.
    Monk for me is Toby Jones. Ham for Matthew Goode. Renny would be Ron Pearlman or a suggested above Brad Garret and Littlejohn for Billy Crudup.

    Well there’s my POV

    Geek Out

    Lambastin

  17. Shavager says:

    I like Randy Orton of WWF fame, has the build, height, facial features and hair to pass as the BAMA Doc-the image most fans are familiar with. I think T. Hayden Church might make a good Renny or Long Tom, Jack Black might make a good Monk, but the actor-can’t think of his name- who wore the monkey suit for closeups of Spielburg’s King Kong-has the moves and actions to protray Monk as apelike. You have to remember, the more big name actors used in the movie, it will drive production costs sky high with star salaries and make it prohibitive to produce the movie. I don’t think David H. Pierce fits the character makeup of any of Doc’s aides-remember even though Long Tom was pale and looked like a weakling, he was a wildcat in a fight. Charlie Sheen might be a great Ham, would his antics off screen and salary demands be compatible with the movie? Duane Johnson and Arhnold both have the build-but both are too short and Arhnold’s accent is a problem-to play Doc, I still like the Orton guy.

  18. James says:

    For Ham I could see Adrian Paul he looks good with a mustache I agree Brad Garret as Renny when I heard the NPR radio plays I thought it was Garret doing Renny on the radio. For Doc if he was still young enough Kevin Sorbo remember Doc was only six foot tall and weighed about 200lbs For Johnny Bill Nye Long Tom hmmm maybe the guy who played the shoveler I think his name is Bill Macy? Now monk would be a problem if you wanted him to be like the way he looks in the new first wave comics then get Taz to carry it off and considering most pro wrestlers are great actors.

  19. Rarero says:

    Another vote for Dwayne Johnson.

  20. Jerry says:

    Dolph Lundgren as Doc Savage…best possible physical match.

  21. Nick Hawkins says:

    Are you people nuts? Last time I checked, The “Rock” was black, not bronze. You need to put a cork in your stupid political correctness. (Lester Dent must be flipping over like a croc in his grave!)

  22. Pete Calderbank says:

    Checked back a few times and never quite liked the choices…..so I thought devote 10 mins and come up with better…….hmm!

    Doc…………Daniel Cudmore……..has it all for me.
    Monk……..Micheal Chiklis………with just a little augmentation in the red shingles dept.
    Ham……..Alex O’Laughlin……..well…… Monk knows lawyers are bloodsuckers!
    Renny……Vincent D’Onofrio………Hell yes!!
    Johnny…….Doug Jones……Tall and thin enough.
    Long Tom….William H Macey…….always been my Long Tom.

    A fun 10 mins……just….please God…..let it happen!!

  23. Creed says:

    If Doc isn’t played by Brock Lesnar, it’s a missed opportunity. He could be Doc’s twin in hair and skin color, size, age and attitude, but I don’t know if he can act to the degree that this would demand. This film has to be directed on the dark side, unlike the first comical film.
    There is a stand-in actor on one of the commercials about moving furniture. He’s a little rounded at the shoulders, his arms are huge and they are extra “knuckle dragging” long like Monks. Whoever he is, he fits the visual perfectly.
    The rest are up to you guys. I hope this happens and I hope it’s done well.

  24. OCDocFan says:

    I am very excited to hear that a new Doc Savage movie looks probable but I must agree that it can’t be another spoof. I hope it’s done right this time, say in the vain of the latest Batman movies. That’s the intensity, action and drama that would do the character justice.
    Regarding Statham as Doc I agree he’s just not right. I really enjoy his action and he might fit as another of the crew but he doesn’t have the stature for the “big” guy.
    I think Michael Chiklis is perfect for Monk and he already understands the needs of the part.
    Can’t wait but please make it worth it!

  25. OCDocFan says:

    One more thought: I kind of like the idea of Dolph Lundgren in the lead. He’d need to pack on a little more meat but he has the size and stature and he has done action.
    Even if it’s late in coming it might just be a break out role for him.

  26. scootah says:

    BROCK LESNAR…LOL

  27. Mtbarnett says:

    Please do Doc justice. The George Pal movie was a big disappointment.
    Mt. Barnett

  28. Clayton Savage says:

    The George Pal Movie was done very well. Doc Savage is from the 30’s so he made it to look and feel like one of the 30’s Movie serials except in color. I thought he did a wonderful Job brining them to life. He did a great job with the movie serial angle as well. You basically had a 30’s movie serial only in color. I thought it was great. and I was a teen when it first came out. And the Doc Savage books helped me get thru high school. when ever school was getting me down I would just go on a trip and help Doc get the bad guys. Then when I was done with that trip (book) I could go back to School and things wern’t so bad.

  29. Ggraves60 says:

    I would like to suggest doing the Doc Savage Characters and screen play in a Avatar type animation. It would not only recreate the characters to their exact proportions and look but allow the amazing agility and power of Doc to be displayed precisely. Also the acting is drawn by the artist and voice inflection by the actor.   ie; Dave Prowse and James Earl Jones,,Darth Vader.

  30. Ggraves60 says:

    I would like to suggest doing the Doc Savage Characters and screen play in a Avatar type animation. It would not only recreate the characters to their exact proportions and look but allow the amazing agility and power of Doc to be displayed precisely. Also the acting is drawn by the artist and voice inflection by the actor.   ie; Dave Prowse and James Earl Jones,,Darth Vader.

  31. laban shrewsbury says:

    hello, i don’t know if this idea has already been explored. how about Doc Savage verses the Cthulhu pantheon. i have a book “Shadows Over Baker Street.” Sherlock Holmes verses the Cthulhu mythos. Doc verses Cthulhu; it seems to be a no brainer! August Derleth wrote “The Trail of Cthulhu” in 1962. let me know what you think. thanks! L

  32. Dwhite says:

    I like Scott Hileman’s and others for Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson for Doc and a few other choices that I like that were stated;
    Monk…Jack Black
    Ham…Adrian Brody
    Renny…Ron Pearlman
    The problem is two fold, the movie needs to be popular enough to be a big hit but not spend too much on salaries to make it hard to be profitable. A known actor in Doc’s role and supporting casts will help with audience draw but will also drive up costs based on popularity of the actors. Maybe the Rock in the role as Doc for an audience draw or another known actor and other great unknown finds that closely match the physical match of the book characters.
    Whatever they do, if another Doc Savage movie gets made, make it great enough to be able to strike the public’s interest (make a big profit for the movie studio). If it’s real good, the old fans plus the new ones can cry for a sequel or two. But even if a sequel isn’t made, a good quality Doc Savage movie would make this fan happy.

  33. Gary Stevenson says:

    Holy Cow! It’s on FOR REAL! Okay, we had to wait for Iron Man 3 to get made. It’s made. NOW IT’S OUR TURN. Most of you know by now that Shane Black got the green light to make Doc Savage. For us Doc fans this is the best news we’ve had in years (apart from the new novels). While it’s great to hear that Doc is on his way, we need to remember that it will probably be a summer 2015 release. So we have lots of time to simmer in suspense. Over the years a lot of ideas have been posted as to who should play who. At this point I find myself not really worrying over casting. The fact that Doc is getting a huge budgeted second chance is exciting in and of itself. I’ve been a Doc fan for 40 years and and honestly, if the core stuff is all there: the 86th floor, superfirers, mercy bullets, anaesthetic grenades and gadgets, Monk really looking like an ape, Ham’s sword cane, Renny with serious big fists, a little blood and some ass kicking fights, I can warm to any actor in any role. Just STAY FAITHFUL TO THE SOURCE MATERIAL.3 years ago I had mentioned on this site that whomever the producers chose for certain parts was bound to irk certain fans, but I think right now it’s a case of “wait and see”. Personally, I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THIS! I’ll bet some of you agree with me.

  34. HAL52 says:

    In his day, Howie Long would have made a great Doc!!!

  35. Jack Hoffman says:

    My casting:

    Doc: Dewayne Johnson
    Monk: Michael Chicklis
    Ham: Hugh Laurie
    Johnny: Doug Jones
    Renny: Jared Padilecki
    Long Tom: Wm. H Macy

    Doc’s Father: Bruce Willis
    Patricia Savage: Nyna Rivera

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