EXCLUSIVE: The Man of Bronze is headed to the small screen. Sony Pictures Television and Neal H. Moritz’s Sony-based Original Film have partnered with Condé Nast Entertainment to develop a scripted television series based on the Doc Savage pulp fiction franchise from the Street & Smith library. The project is part of the new three-year deal Original Film signed with the TV studio last summer.
The scripted series will chronicle his adventures, featuring rampaging dinosaurs, secret societies led by dastardly villains, fantastic gadgets and weapons, death-dealing traps, hair-raising escapes, and plots to rule the earth.
Executive producing the project are Moritz and Pavun Shetty from Original Film, and Oren Katzeff and Jon Koa of Condé Nast Entertainment. Condé Nast acquired the Street & Smith Library in 1959.
Sony first partnered with Moritz’s Original Film to develop a Doc Savage movie, recruiting Shane Black in 2013 to write the script, and signing Dwayne Johnson in 2016 to star as the classic pulp hero. In a 2018 interview, Johnson noted that business affairs-related issues had hindered the project.
While trying to get the feature off the ground, Moritz began contemplating a small-screen adaptation. He felt like, with hundreds of characters and myriad stories featured in the books, the Doc Savage IP would be better served as a TV series where there is more time to explore characters. Original Film has a successful track record adapting comic books/graphic novels to television with The Boys, Preacher and Happy!
First debuting in 1933 in pulp magazines, Savage, otherwise known as Clark Savage Jr., was inspired by (and created to be a semi-combination of) notable literary and pulp heroes such as Sherlock Holmes and Tarzan. The adventuring polymath was trained from early childhood to be at peak physical condition and is blessed with genius-level intellect and an eidetic memory, abilities he uses to right wrongs and correct injustice wherever he happens to encounter them. Along with characters like The Shadow (1930), Dick Tracy (1931), Conan the Barbarian (1932), The Lone Ranger and Tonto (1933), and Green hornet and Kato (1936), Doc Savage was part of the later pulp genre that directly inspired the comic book superhero genre that emerged in the late 1930s. Marvel’s Stan Lee credited Doc Savage as being the forerunner to modern superheroes.
The character, which continues to have a devoted fan following, was previously adapted to the big screen in 1975’s Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze starring Ron Ely.
Original Film’s current series for Sony TV include The Boys on Amazon and S.W.A.T. on CBS. It also produced AMC’s Preacher and Syfy’s Happy!.
CNE’s series slate includes Fastest Car and Emmy-nominated Last Chance U on Netflix, Most Expensivest on Viceland.