Shane Black to co-write and direct Doc Savage

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After his controversial but successful helming gig on “Iron Man 3″, most will welcome the news that Shane Black’s next gig will be another comic movie.

Black, whose helped “Iron Man 3″ inch towards the $1 billion it’s about to pocket, has been signed to helm a film adaptation of the pulp novel “Doc Savage” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The writer/director had been developing a “Savage” film in 2009, but the “Iron Man 3″ job presented itself and derailed those plans, temporarily.

Black will co-write and direct the picture for Sony Pictures. Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry helped out on the screenplay for the film, while Neal Moritz (“xXx”) will produce.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be building a franchise from the ground up with Shane and this team,” said Sony’s president of production Hannah Minghella in a statement. “Shane and Neal have a fantastic understanding of the character and a great take on the material and we can’t wait to get this production up and running.”

Doc Savage was originally published in American pulp magazines during the 1930s and 1940s. The heroic-adventure character would go on to appear in several other media, including radio, film, and comic books, with his adventures reprinted for modern-day audiences in series of paperback books.

Wikipedia describes the character as “a physician, surgeon, scientist, adventurer, inventor, explorer, researcher, and, as revealed in The Polar Treasure, a musician. A team of scientists assembled by his father deliberately trained his mind and body to near-superhuman abilities almost from birth, giving him great strength and endurance, a photographic memory, a mastery of the martial arts, and vast knowledge of the sciences. Doc is also a master of disguise and an excellent imitator of voices. “He rights wrongs and punishes evildoers.” Dent described the hero as a mix of Sherlock Holmes’ deductive abilities, Tarzan’s outstanding physical abilities, Craig Kennedy’s scientific education, and Abraham Lincoln’s goodness. Dent described Doc Savage as manifesting “Christliness.” Doc’s character and world-view is displayed in his oath, which goes as follows: Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit by it. Let me think of the right and lend all my assistance to those who need it, with no regard for anything but justice. Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage. Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens and my associates in everything I say and do. Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.”

Black’s only directed two films – and both starred Robert Downey Jr; do I dare predict who might be in the mix to play Doc Savage!?