This is probably the best news I’ve heard all day.  At the Doc Savage panel, Michael Uslan, the fellow producing the Captain Marvel film, said there was a new Doc Savage film in the works.

Doc Savage is still one of my all time favorite pulp characters.  Every time a new comic series was released, or I was able to find back issues of the 1960s reprints, I was plunking down my money.  It’s too bad the first Doc Savage movie got the shaft and was reduced to a misserable failure (a story I should tell on a future Major Spoilers Podcast), as it could have been the Indiana Jones franchise.

Manofbronzebama.jpgHere’s hoping Uslan and everyone involved can get the right people on board to make this thing a success.  What is needed for that success?

  1. Finding the perfect Doc Savage – The more I begin to uncover the original pulp covers, I’m liking that interpretation over the James Bama art that hangs on my walls.
  2. The movie must include the “fabulous five”, even if their nicknames sound weird by today’s standards.
  3. Pat Savage? Not so much in the first movie, but if a female lead isn’t included, there could be trouble.  Doc never really had any true romantic female leads like some other heroes, so finding the perfect actress is going to be critical.
  4. The first movie definitely needs to be The Man of Bronze and needs to be set during the 1930s – no updating for modern audiences.  It didn’t work when DC tried it in the late 80s, it won’t work that way on film.
  5. I really believe the lobotomy portion of Doc’s work needs to be included.
  6. Gadgets, gadgets, and more period specific gadgets are a must.  Doc Savage went on to inspire Batman for goodness sake, he better be equipped.

As you can tell, I’m a bit more excited over this news than any other. The Doc Savage film has been in the works for years, and with questions over rights, Arnold Schwarzenegger almost being cast for the lead, and many other fiascoes, have kept this classic character out of the theaters and forgotten by at least two generations.



About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Hey Stephen, this is great! I’ve been meaning to get a few of the Doc Savage double novels from Nostalgia Ventures, because the Shadow ones are great, any particular stories a newbie should read first to get a feel for the character?

  2. You need to start with Man of Bronze – that explains everything, from Doc’s history, to where he gets his wealth, to some of the more interesting aspects of Doc Savage. Man of Bronze is a globe spanning tale that takes you from New York to the South America and features mystery, assassination attempts, and a lost city of gold!

  3. I’m afraid the most successful interpretation of Doc Savage will probably contiue to be the flashbacks of Jonas Venture on THE VENTURE BROTHERS. A modern Doc Savage film would have to kick thirty kinds of ass to even have a chance to be successful, and even then audiences might treat it the way they treated THE SHADOW, THE PHANTOM, THE ROCKETEER, AND SKY CAPTAIN.

  4. True, true…although (don’t kill me) I thought Sky Captain was a bit dull and muddled at times. The Superman Robots were awesome though. The Shadow especially gets a bad rap, but it might have to do with the way it seemed to try and be the Burton Batman with a dash of the Beatty Dick Tracy.

    Which is funny, because the plot of Shadow isn’t miles away from being Batman Begins, if you think about it.

  5. I liked “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” however the others mentioned weren’t so good.

    I lurv, Doc Savage and The Shadow. In order for the Movie to be creatively successful it would probably have to stylistically match the way “The Watchmen” trailer is. It CANNOT be like “Indiana Jones and the Atomic Refridgerator of Doom”. And it probably has to have the style of dialog that “Batman: The Dark Knight” has except done in the 1930’s period. WARREN ELLIS or Matt Fraction would have to write the screenplay.

  6. I don’t think I agree about the inclusion of Doc’s practice of lobotomizing crooks — in the ’30s that wasn’t considered a sinister thing to do, but now it’d unnecessarily complicate the character. I personally enjoy the moral complexity of Doc’s fascistic inclinations, but you do that now and it’s a political movie (one I’d like to see, but I don’t think Doc Savage is the place to do it).

  7. I have had the opportunity to read all the Doc novels. Trying to find one to make an initial impact isn’t hard, there are so many to choose from. I would start with Red Snow or Cold Death. Both are entertaining and can be easily updated. Secret in the Sky is another. To start, Docs aides can use their real names and perhaps nick names can be added in flash backs (loose the monkey, chemistry.)

    And get someone with CHARISMA to play Doc. Doc has had more than one face over the last 70 some odd years. But he has always been striking.

  8. I grew up reading and collecting the Bantam editions of Doc Savage. I was pleased to run across the new reprints of the 1930’s magazines. It’s been a kick reading the “Man of Bronze” 30+ years after I read it for the first time. I don’t recall the 1930s style writing in the Bantam editions. For any of you who have read both, did Bantam update the 1930s langauage when it published them in the 1960s and 1970s?

    As for movie, that would be cool, but unfortunately I fear it would go the way of other similar remakes–heroes from a different period that won’t interest or be appreciated by the modern masses. Too bad, and hope I’m wrong.

  9. I have read several of the pulps and paperback. The pulps have cliff-hanger endings which were trimmed from most of the paperback novels but very little if any of the story has been changed.

    What has always captured my attention, is how Doc is portrayed on the pulps vs. the paperbacks and in print. The pictures of Doc used for the bantam books seem to fit the discription better.

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