Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson confirmed yesterday via Instagram that he’ll be playing Doc Savage, a 1930s pulp adventurer. The film, presumably of the same name, will be directed by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3).
The WWE wrestler-turned-film-star had this to say in his announcement:
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.
Doc Savage was created by Henry Ralston, John Nanovic, and Lester Dent in 1933, several years before Superman was created. Savage was a jack of all trades adventurer raised from birth to be the pinnacle of human strength and intelligence. He had no actual superpowers, but he made up for that by becoming a master martial artist, a trained scientist, and a master detective. He may not have been Superman, but his friends and enemies certainly considered him to be one. As The Rock pointed out, Savage was one of the inspirations in creating Superman — both share a first name, similar nicknames, and they both have a Fortress of Solitude. Savage even briefly appeared in DC Comics as one of the stars of a pulp line called “First Wave” that also starred Batman and The Spirit.
Currently, Doc Savage and his comic book adventures are published by Dynamite Entertainment. So don’t worry, DC fans. There may still be a chance of his becoming Black Adam, if they ever get around to a Shazam movie.