BREAKING: Sony has just closed a deal with Shane Black to co-write and direct Doc Savage, a movie based on the 1930s and ’40s pulp novel hero. He co-wrote the screenplay with Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry, and Columbia Pictures says he’s eyeing it as his next project. Neal H. Moritz is producing the project with Ori Marmur through his Original Film banner. Michael Uslan will also be a producer. “We couldn’t be more excited to be building a franchise from the ground up with Shane and this team”, said Columbia production president Hannah Hannah Minghella, who made the announcement today with Columbia president Doug Belgrad. “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 a multiplatformer even back in the day, popularized on radio, film and TV. He was a scientist, physician, adventurer, inventor, explorer and researcher with outstanding strength, a photographic memory, and vast knowledge and intelligence. He uses those skills and powers to fight evil.

Sam Dickerman and Lauren Abrahams are overseeing for the studio with Minghella.

Black, coming off the phenomenal worldwide opening of Disney/Marvel’s Iron Man 3, also wrote with Bagarozzi and Mondry the live-action adaptation of the Japanese manga series Death Note, which is set up at Warner Bros. At the time of that deal back in 2011, Black said he wasn’t sure what he wanted to direct next. Well that ended up being Iron Man threequel, which reteamed him with his Kiss Kiss Bang Bang star Robert Downey Jr and which grossed $680M worldwide in its first 12 days.

Black is repped by David Greenblatt, WME and attorney Alan Hergott.