2/24/2010

There's been a renewed interest in pulp novel heroes from the '30s and '40s, and now the studio that's producing this year's Green Hornet is planning a movie based on the wildly popular character Doc Savage, the so-called "Man of Bronze." Created by Lester Dent in 1933, the star of books, radio, a campy 70's movie and numerous comics, trained since birth to almost superhuman levels of human development. He was a world-class athlete, adventurer, doctor, lawyer and Indian chief traveling the world fighting evil.

Sam Raimi, who's working on a Shadow reboot, was attached to this project at one time, but Shane Black, the creator of  Lethal Weapon, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang has taken over writing and directing. I have to admit I don't know a whole lot about the character. I really liked the comic books from the '90s and the 1975 movie is hilariously bad, so this one should be interesting.

What do you think of a Doc Savage movie? Have you ever even heard of him? Let us know in the comments!
[Image source: DC comics]

2 comments:

Monkey Migraine said...

Doc Savage is awesome. Not sure the general public would warm to him as is, though. Maybe they could re-vamp him like Sherlock Holmes.

Sarge said...

This isn't timely of course, but thought I'd chime in. There were 181 Doc Savage pulp adventures spanning from the early 30's to the late 40's written under the name Kenneth Robeson, primarily by Dent, who created him, but also by a number of ghosts in later years. Doc, a bronzed giant of a man in perfect mental and physical condition, ran about the globe thwarting all manner of menaces, aided by a bromantic team of 5 loyal aides, each caricatureishly oddball, each an expert in their own fields. He and his team were financed by regular infusions of gold from a lost mayan tribe who owed him their lives, which helped to pay for the "high" (for the 30's) tech headquarters on the 86th floor of the never named Empire State Building.

I went back and read a few of them recently - I forgot just how poorly written, and innocently 30's racist they were ("Ah so, velly velly solly, me need spleeky with Doc Savage"), as well as innocently morally questionable (Doc would regularly send captured evildoers to an upstate hospital where he would perform BRAIN SURGERY on them to make them into honest citizens - but it was science, so it was okay).

As to making a movie, I think the only way it would really fly is to make it a straightforward nostalgia piece, like the Rocketeer. We've seen the "camp" version in the aforementioned 70's George Pal version, and a straight up modernization would just be any other overly equipped gun-porn/Mission Impossible opus. What makes Doc Savage at all interesting is him in THAT era, a time when there were still blankish areas on the map, and the gung-ho american hero idea was uncomplicated by respect for other cultures. You could have him fight nazis - then at least no one would be offended (Nazis, like Ridley Scott's Aliens, are the perfect inhuman monsters to pick on without guilt).

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