July 7, 1999, 2:05 a.m. CST
July 7, 1999, 2:22 a.m. CST
by poor yorick
Ooooh, Harry, you don't know just how strongly I sympathise with your feelings of sheer giddiness at the prospect of a serious stab at cinematic Doc (whodathunk? maybe there's hope that, in another 20 years or so, somebody will do a worthy Shadow flick?). I love the character, I love the pulps, but the casting here makes my nauseous. Don't get me wrong, Arnold's fine and I've enjoyed him in certain flicks, but since when did Dr. Clark Savage Jr. have a Bavarian accent (which Arnold will never be able to shake - remember how uneasy we were with the attempts to make him our quintessential American G.I. in the abandoned SGT. ROCK?) and a gap-toothed smile? Arnold is big enough and can more than pull of Savage's blistering concentration and physical grace, but - and correct me if I'm wrong - isn't Doc supposed to be, well, brilliant? And charming? Maybe I'm just a purist (like yourself, H, I'm very protective of these characters that I grew up with) but the man is all wrong for the part. Okay, maybe mostly wrong. If nothing else, he can sport a ripped up shirt with the best of 'em. We'll just have to wait and see....
July 7, 1999, 2:31 a.m. CST
by Harry Knowles
My friend, let's say that Doc Savage was raised and taught by the greatest scientist in the world. Perhaps, one was Bavarian and Doc liked the accent. He is worldly and likely wouldn't be speaking with a pure Yank accent either. I mean, this is the world's greatest adventurer... He spent tons of time in Europe, Africa, South America, the Antartic, etc. I can live with an accent.
July 7, 1999, 2:45 a.m. CST
Harry, I may not be the right person to say this. I mean, I've only heard of Doc Savage in the vaguest way (mostly as a metaphore) and have no idea what you are talking about with those characters. However, you wrote something very odd in your article: in a single paragraph, you insisted on "zero camp" and then went on to 1930's physicians performing moral correction surgery. I detect a slight contradiction here. I mean, you can't have your cake and eat it too, can you, Harry? The situation you describe sounds inherently campy, not sci-fi or fantasy. Real sci-fi follows strict codes of internal logic; fantasy bends them, but never brakes them. camp, on the other hand, thrives on the rediculous. Now, if you want to include your brain-surgery (as well as punching through doors and other far-fetched heroics) you had better explain them real well consistent with the period and with human nature. If you do, you have to follow through with a discussion on the nature of evil and the importance of free will - and you will find me on the opposite side of the philosophical railroad tracks. Because from your article, what I see Doc Savage saying is that human beings cannon choose to do good or evil, but have the choice ingrained in them. Thus good deserves no praise, evil no condemnation. If the movie claims that, than you have one disturbing movie; if not, then hey - it's camp.
July 7, 1999, 2:59 a.m. CST
Doc Savage is ace, and the original cast were all ace too. Good credentials for the writing and directing side of the new one, not sure about Arnie though. Ron Ely was a charming old bugger in the original...
July 7, 1999, 3:53 a.m. CST
Just a small comment folks, Arnie is Austrian not Bavarian. (no, Bavaria isn't the capitol of Austria)
July 7, 1999, 4:35 a.m. CST
why is the survey not changed as often as before?? this star wars script one has been on for ages....
July 7, 1999, 4:38 a.m. CST
Well, I'm awake now. I honestly didn't think I'd ever get exited over the prospect of another Arnie flick. Damn damn BLAST damn this could rock. Just to respond to a couple of the points above: I think when Harry is referring to 'camp', he's referring to a Buckaroo Banzai-esque self-consciousness about the inherent unreality of the characters and situations. Banzai is in many ways the anti-Savage (great though it is), and the movie would have to get far far away from that tongue-in-cheek kind of humor to achieve what it could be. Doc would have to be a true period piece in the Merchant Ivory sense, even more of its time and place than even Indy was. And as for Arnie not being able to pull it off... um, did you see True Lies? I'm not a huge fan of that movie but Arnie's performance was one of its better assets. He pulled off the suave spy bit with relative ease. No, the big pitfall with this project is going to be getting the tone absolutely right. If any kind of pomo, wink-wink-nudge-nudge-iness gets in there it will derail the film utterly. Disbelief has to be suspended, and the gosh-wow center of the brain engaged, from page one. Now can this guy Darabont handle it? (Kidding! I'm kidding. I'm a kidder; I kid. It's what we do.)
July 7, 1999, 4:52 a.m. CST
by king's ex
Does anyone know a URL I can go to to get a copy of the old Ron Ely version? And for that matter, does anyone know where I could get a copy of "Dirty Larry, Crazy Mary"?
July 7, 1999, 5:16 a.m. CST
Digiting, shaddup 'bout things you know nothing about. what are you, eight? Harry, this is so coool I've got frostbite. let it be so, let it be so....
July 7, 1999, 5:25 a.m. CST
Monk had better be Ron Perlman from Beauty & Beast and Alien Resurrection. The role was built for him.
July 7, 1999, 5:28 a.m. CST
by Fluffy da Bunny
Yup, this sounds good, but as we've seen before, stuff that sounds cool doesn't always make it to the screen. *mumble-grumble* REALLY really hope they keep the 30's setting, otherwise it's just not "right", like making a "modern" Sherlock Holmes. It needs 30's Bakelite techno.
July 7, 1999, 5:37 a.m. CST
I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but I hear on www.sfcrowsnest.com (kind of a science fiction and fantasy portal type thang) that Arnie is now out of the running for this movie. Sly was considering the role, but they weren't going to offer him the kind of loot they wanted.
July 7, 1999, 6:04 a.m. CST
by clark thorne
Wait 'til Arnie himself talks about his take on the project, assuming he even does it. If he decides to play it straight like True Lies and Eraser (which, despite it's flaws, at least showed his willingness to skip the cute one-liners)it'll be good. If not, you've got your sequel to The Mummy. It'd be nice to have a pulp hero done right on screen, but don't hold your breath.
July 7, 1999, 6:13 a.m. CST
Chuck Russell's work I have seen, Frank Darabont's I admire, and Schwarzenegger, well, everyone knows Arnold. But let's be honest here, in this day and age, any big budget (like Arnold's gonna take a pay cut for this) movie needs to sell even before the first frame is shot. These days (the age of James Bond, John Woo, Quentin...) means checking out whether or not the film is gonna sell outside of the USA, and in this case, a very loud NO! I doubt anyone outside of the good ol' USA has ever heard of Doc Savage. I can already hear that exec saying, "But it's Arnold! And he's not charging his full fee...!" Do something else, like "Planet of the Apes".
July 7, 1999, 6:58 a.m. CST
Harry, Harry, Harry... do you actually think any movie starring Arnold as a 30's pulp hero will be played straight. Tsk, tsk, tsk... I can imagine the stupid one- liners now.
July 7, 1999, 7:05 a.m. CST
Alas Poor Yorick has got it right I'm afraid. Arnold has got the looks except for the gap. But A.S. as a super genius, I'm sorry I know the guy is smarter than anyone gives him credit for, but playing a character with brains has never been his strong point. And the accent is also a point against him. Doc Savage, was the ultimate american hero, as made very clear by the novel. Not to be xenophobic, but I don't think an accent would play well, sorry Harry. Well maybe an ancient Mayan one...
July 7, 1999, 7:07 a.m. CST
Doc Savage is my biggest guilty pleasure. I have a lot of the books and actively seek more. A couple of things.... The George Pal version of the first tale was a period piece, not camp. Unfortunately, the 1930's film style plays as camp to modern sensibilities. As a result, I hope they take an Indiana Jones/Remo Williams approach to the script and give us high adventure instead of 30's accuracy. Now, about this Ahnold guy.... It is constantly mentioned in the books that at a distance, Doc looks like a normal person. It is only close up where you get the feeling that he is so huge. I would prefer to see the same kind of digital tricks they're gonna use to shrink hobbit actors instead of picking a "side-o-beef" actor. Long tom..... Harry, I remember him being really tall and thin, not short as you mentioned. I'll have to look this up when I get back home. In short, though I would love to see this done right, I fear it will be done Hollywood. Pulp tales tend to be hard to translate. They all seem to be either well made flops that capture the spirit of the original pulp,or big budget bastardizations of the source material. Let's hope this is the exception......
July 7, 1999, 7:07 a.m. CST
Wow, you really don't have a clue, do you Digiting? Sure there is always the chance that this film may end up the way of countless cool pulp-movie adaptions before, like Tarzan films. But the fact that the writers/directors are responsible for as broad a spectrum of decent-to-great stuff like Mask and Shawshank Redemption goes a long way to alleviating those fears for me. And Arnold was genetically-engineered to play this role over all others. Basically, if you are dissing the source material, Doc Savage, then you really DON'T have a clue when it comes to action-adventure. I for one am going to visualize positively that they take the above advice and do a straight period piece, with no camp. If they can do that, I smell winner. Christos
July 7, 1999, 7:08 a.m. CST
I said novel, not novels, You know after reading over a hundred of them, they all blur into one. :)
July 7, 1999, 7:43 a.m. CST
by JJ McClure
Being trapped on the isle of Britannia, I have no idea who this character is. I thought this was a sequel to Doc Hollywood. BUT NO! It's a blinder! I'd pay good money to see this crazy-ass nonsense in a second! Bakerlite-techno is a cool style! Bakerpunk! For those of you worried that you'll get a good rogering up the backside when you go into the cinema, remember, ol' Frankie-boy is involved. I trust him with this the same way I trust Peter Jackson with Lord of the Rings. Harry, if you got all sweaty and rolled around in the sand, you'd look like a big chicken nugget!
July 7, 1999, 7:43 a.m. CST
Ok, I know NOTHING about Doc Savage...so I can't really say if this really is a good or bad idea. However, wouldn't you rather Arnold do another Conan film than this? We've already got our modern version of Doc Savage in a certain Dr Banzai- why not have Arnold return to his original pulp character!
July 7, 1999, 7:58 a.m. CST
by Capt. Cavity
Harry, with all due respect (I love that phrase - it can mean anything!)you are way off on your choice of novels to adapt. The Fortress of Solitude or Resurrection Day are the only acceptable choices. Either way, a strong villain is a MUST element. And no widow's peak. Check out The 86th floor at http://members.aol.com/the86floor/index.html and the rest of the Doc web ring.
July 7, 1999, 8:06 a.m. CST
but I seriously doubt this Doc Savage film will be camp-free. Don't you think the studio bank-rolling this one will be wanting The Mummy 2? After all, I don't think as many people are as aware of Doc Savage and his mythos to know that Hollywood was screwing with it. And just because Frank Darabont's on it now means that he'll stay on it. The writer's the first one to get shitcanned if the star grows iffy about the project, it doesn't matter how reknowned he is. I'm surprised Russell would want to work with Arnie again after the debacle that was the Eraser shoot. This film is a long time in the coming so anything could happen between now and 2001. I think it will just fall apart over "creative differences" along the line, much like other Arnie dream projects have. And BTW, why trust what the Hollywood Reporter says after that bogus Godfather 4 story they ran? Puzo and his family knew he was dying and didn't have anything to do with it. HR just ran with somebody's wet dream as a story.
July 7, 1999, 8:11 a.m. CST
George Pal swore up and down he was doing a straight Doc, but methinks he protested too much. The flick was pure camp (note the John Phillip SouUSA music and Doc Savage logos emblazoned on any and all equipment. Doc was not into high profile operations), the heroics played for laughs. Ely could have handled the part easily, but was saddled with goofy lines like "I picked up your thoughtwaves and came immediately". Groan. And the first thing I would have jettisoned was the gawdawful trilling (Doc fans will know what I speak of, the rest of you read some of the books)! It was one of the lamer aspects of the series, and near impossible to pull off. The best part is that if they stick with the best of the books, Doc didn't have a whole lot of dialogue. The best Arnie movies don't have him yakking it up a lot. Loose lips will sink Doc's ship.
July 7, 1999, 8:12 a.m. CST
by Corran Fox Horn
I don't care, get your negativity and criticism away, because this movie will be awesome, NO MATTER WHAT. <Plugs ears and makes loud monotonus noises>
July 7, 1999, 8:22 a.m. CST
Harry, I've got to agree with you, I'm quite jazzed about this. So much so that it's caused me to break my code of silence and write in. I remember back in the mid to late 60's how the first book I bought that wasn't from the kiddie rack was The Green Death. I knew after just a few pages in that I was hooked. Every nickle and dime I could scrounge was saved and went towards the goal of buying the entire series. I would pester my parents to go to Golden Age Collectables in Seattle just so I could have a chance at picking up another book. When Phillip Jose Farmer wrote Doc's "Biography" I read it in a day. And when a friend of mine told me they were going to do a Doc Savage movie, I went into geekgasams. This friend worked for DC Comics at the time as a letterer and later told me of the advance screening he attended. I remember how dissapointed I was when he described the movie and its inability to go for the "In Like Flint" style camp or stick to action/adventure. I think Arnold can do this. After all, Doc is not the most vocal character in the books. And we can have some comic relief with Monk and Ham. As to period, perhaps going the Gotham City route might be best. Dark and 30ish but with glimpse of higher tech. When the first series of comics came out from Marvel (yes, I know Gold Key had at least one comic about Doc before that) Their first issue had a decent blend of retro and high tech. Ah well, I'd best close here. I do want to see this movie and I'd love to see Doc fight a dangerous foe, someone like John Sunlight, perhaps...
July 7, 1999, 8:49 a.m. CST
by Mike D
Arnie's doing this comic book stuff next instead of ON WINGS OF EAGLES? And to think I took him seriously when he told everyone he wanted to "expand" his acting range. Frank Durabont is also wasting talent on this one. Give this thing to the BLADE people. That's where it belongs! I'm too pissed off to go on.....
July 7, 1999, 9:09 a.m. CST
Large-fisted man? Cast of similarly eccentric characters? The 1930s? This movie will never avoid being camped up like a cross between the Adam West Batman and the Shadow. And if Doc Savage is patriotic, how will they account for Ahnold's accent? It seems inevitable. Hollywood will give the movie a hammy villain,too modernistic for the time and obtrusive special-effects. It'll be wrong in the ways "Wild Wild West" was. This needs to compete financially with X-MEN or it'll be deemed a failure, and we've all witnessed what lengths the studios will go to ensure a profit.
July 7, 1999, 9:24 a.m. CST
First off, Mike D. Doc Savage, although the character has had at least two comic books, he was created in the pulps so this isn't comic book stuff stricktly speaking, unless the X-Files and Jery Lewis are comic book stuff too... But I think that there are too many chances to get this wrong. I find nothing wrong with casting Arnie as teh Doc, but look at your description of the sidekicks. Nearly everyone has some sort of major "but" that keeps it from being campy. Do you really think that whoever they get to write this script is going to take the time to include all those buts into the movie to keep the characters from being laughable? I don't think that will happen. THere are just too many chances to make this movie a joke.
July 7, 1999, 9:28 a.m. CST
Personally I think if a Doc movie is to be made, Use Fortress of Solitude. It uses all of the Team, It has different locales. It has a decisive ending yet there is sequel potential. oh yeah NO HABEAS CORPUS!
July 7, 1999, 9:51 a.m. CST
by Phil Noir
The Top Ten Reasons Schwartzenegger shouldn't play Doc Savage: 10) Doc Savage: his partner is Ham Arnold: is a ham 9) Doc Savage: brilliant Arnold: barely able to read or speak 8) Doc Savage: tall Arnold: lifts & low angles 7) Doc Savage: handsome Arnold: face like Eleanor Roosevelt's butt 6) Doc Savage: philanthropist Arnold: Republican 5) Doc Savage: skullcap Arnold: remember Mr. Freeze? 4) Doc Savage: patriotic American Arnold: Hitler youth 3) Doc Savage: looks good in jodphurs Arnold: chafes in jodphurs 2) Doc Savage: reconditions bad guys with scalpel and subtle brain surgery Arnold: splatters bad guys with an AK-47 1) Doc Savage: Fortress of Solitude Arnold: Fortress of Attitude
July 7, 1999, 9:52 a.m. CST
by Tangent Z
I was never a Doc Savage fan. My Best Friend in high school was. I tried but against Heinlein, Clarke, Bradbury, and Tolkien, I just could not hang with this comic-bookie series. IT WILL BE A GREAT MOVIE! And I do hope that the film is a true emsemble and not all Arnold. But Arnold will be great as the Doc - although, it meant be nice if Gene Hackman or someone who reek of Amerikana did the voice.
July 7, 1999, 9:52 a.m. CST
Ron Perlman for Monk? He'd have to lose about three feet off the bottom to fit the bill. I do agree with mostly losing Habeas Corpus from the film--unless they get Babe for the part. And I may have to boycott this film if the part of Renny doesn't go to Clancy Brown. (The geek within would really like to see the return of the completely inappropriate Doc Savage snowmobile from the George Pal film. Is it on blocks in the garage at the Ackermansion Harry?) Have no fear, the Man of Bronze is here! (Or he will be in a few years) --Fred4Sure
July 7, 1999, 10:10 a.m. CST
I just read the main post, I haven't read the talkbacks yet, I wanted to express my pure joy at seeing this movie being planned without reading the negative comments that must surely be festering up there ! Doc Savage.........done properly ! No Lozenzo Semple type crap !!! This movie has been crying out to be made since The Shadow. Damn, Harry, this is the coolest piece of news I've ever read on your site.
July 7, 1999, 10:10 a.m. CST
I was hoping Arnold would do either "Crusade", "I Am Legend", or a James Cameron film next. I'm sorry, Harry, but this doesn't sound interesting at all. Doc captures the bad guys, and performs brain surgery (note the spelling of "surgery", Harry) on them? It sounds completely absurd. The only way to wipe out someone's "evil urges" with surgery is to lobotomize them. They should have Doc give them the Ludovico treatment. That would make more sense. I mean, you can condition evil out of a person, but you can't cut it out. Regardless, it all sounds sort of silly, and I don't know what Darabont is doing attached to it. Seems like a rather goofy career move, especially coming off a Best Director nomination. And the more I think about Harry, the more I think you're wrong about the following: you said there shouldn't be any camp. Well, the premise is so contrived and inane that this film requires heavy doses of camp to avoid being ludicrously pretentious. People are going to laugh at this film if it doesn't laugh at itself. Last time I was blase about one of these silly movies Harry gets so jazzed about, Robogeek tried to bite my head off. Bring it on, 'Geek....
July 7, 1999, 10:13 a.m. CST
As it has just been mentioned, I have always thought of Clancy Brown as the perfect Renny. And now it looks possible since Frank Darabont used him as the nasty head of the guards in Shawshank. Ron Perlman is Monk and no one else is. Yes he's too tall, but they'll have to find a way to make it work, even if he has to work hunched over... or a little Lord of the Rings computer wizardry perhaps? Actually, several of the other guys in Shawshank would be good for supporting roles. It's all going to hinge on the script. If we ever hear that they're bringing in Jonathan Hensleigh or Steven DeSouza to do a re-write we'll know it's over. This is all ironic as I just finally completed my collection of Doc novels yesterday after all these years. Oh, how about Gary Sinise for Long Tom? (with a little make-up and hair done)
July 7, 1999, 10:48 a.m. CST
He's getting old, folks. There's no need to cast him as this character. I can already smell the stench coming off this project... Why is his the first name to come up? He barely resembles the character physically. Though I like Arnold, I don't buy him as the super-intelligent type -- remember Mr. Freeze? Yeah, he portrayed a scientist to a T didn't he? Get ready for not just camp, but HIGH CAMP, Harry. This is movie's gonna be filled with snappy one-liners.
July 7, 1999, 11:18 a.m. CST
How about Alan Cumming? Works for me.
July 7, 1999, 11:28 a.m. CST
Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze sounds like it will KICK ASS on the level of all three Indiana Jones films and True Lies. Doc seems like the perfect Arnold role. Schwarzenegger, if you read this, PLEASE make the D.C comics war hero film, SGT.ROCK for Warner Brothers. I just read the 1987 David Web Peoples version and it was unbelievable.
July 7, 1999, 11:40 a.m. CST
People are going to be crying about how misogynistic the whole concept is. The whole gets-his-gold-from-Mayans thing will have to go too. Perhaps a femme fatale for a villain? I think most people are right about how difficult it will be to catch the flavor of the concept without inserting camp. It must be a universe unto itself. This could be a really interesting movie with the right cast, but by choosing Arnie, they are off to a bad start. I also disagree with the removal of certain characteristics of Savage's appearance, like the widow's peak. I think the makeup and costumes could be a major factor in making this film stand apart in a genre of its own. As to the casting...what about your precious Bruce Campbell? The age is right, you could slap a tan on him, give him a dye job and color contacts. A buff Daniel Day-Lewis?
July 7, 1999, 12:16 p.m. CST
I don't know who Doc Savage is, but I know that if Chuck Russell is directing I won't be watching. Arnold Schwarzenegger is only interesting in James Cameron movies -- and even then just barely. In everything else, he is rather Norma Desmondish and over-the-hill, especially during his sporadic appearances on talk shows. Someone teach this guy the words "soft sell." He can't get through a sentence without interjecting the name of his latest stink bomb. "Everyone go see Jingle All the Way -- it is fantastic."
July 7, 1999, 12:26 p.m. CST
For all you ethnocentric bigots out there who think that someone can't be patriotic because they have a foreign accent, I have just two words for you -- John Shalikashvili. And if you have to ask who that is, you really need to log off and start reading newspapers more often. Some of the most fervently patriotic Americans I know have foriegn accents because unlike the rest of us, they don't take what we have here for granted.
July 7, 1999, 12:29 p.m. CST
Incredible!! Doc Savage just rocks. I have read a couple of the books and comics over the years and have seen Ron Ely in the film, and I just love Doc. Yes, it should remain a period piece set in the 1930's and the producers, writers, and directors should not do too much to interfere with that fact. The reason I mention this is that "Wild Wild West" suffered because of the director's vision. While I like Will Smith, I grew up on Robert Conrad; and the changes in the movie were too much to handle. The film should be straightforward. I want all the characters and the gadgets. (By the way, I think Doc Savage had an influence on alot of our comic heros - Superman and the fortress of solitude; Nick Fury and SHIELD. If you disagree, let me know - I just do not have the dates to know which came first.) Cast suggestions: Arnold Clancy Brown Ron Perlman Bruce Campbell(sp) Anthony LaPaglia (sp) Treat Williams Villains: Patrick Stewart
July 7, 1999, 12:29 p.m. CST
by Clark Savage
I'm a giddy as a schoolgirl, although I still think Howie Long is a dead ringer for Doc - he's even got the haircut! Harry's right - DO IT RIGHT OR DON'T DO IT AT ALL!!
July 7, 1999, 1:04 p.m. CST
I don't think anyone, including myself was associating the accent with being unpatriotic. If I gave that impression I'm sorry. I will be the first one to admit people with accents can be extremely patriotic, gung ho americans, especially since everyone here is an immigrant and my family is a melting pot of immigrants. But Doc is not an immigrant, it just doesn't make sense for him to have an accent. And if you are to place Doc in the proper context, the pulp novels were written in the thirties and forties (I believe) and had the prejudices of that era. For the record, I find Schwartzennegar extremely patriotic, he married a Kennedy and is a republican for crying out loud.
July 7, 1999, 1:07 p.m. CST
I don't think anyone, including myself was associating the accent with being unpatriotic. If I gave that impression I'm sorry. I will be the first one to admit people with accents can be extremely patriotic, gung ho americans, especially since everyone here is either an immigrant or from a family of immigrants. But Doc is not an immigrant, it just doesn't make sense for him to have an accent. And if you are to place Doc in the proper context, the pulp novels were written in the thirties and forties (I believe) and had the prejudices of that era. For the record, I find Schwartzennegar extremely patriotic, he married a Kennedy and is a republican for crying out loud.
July 7, 1999, 1:19 p.m. CST
Sometime in the next year, some studio executives are gonna figure that they are not gonna make that much money considering the budget on this movie. 10 to 1 this movie never gets made.
July 7, 1999, 1:26 p.m. CST
Of course it probably won't get made, but the very notion that it might is dandy fodder for Doc fans and movie fans alike to bat around ideas and daydream. Go back a hundred years and the concept of the airplane and powered flight was much sexier than what finally flew. --Fred4Sure
July 7, 1999, 2 p.m. CST
I can see it now, Arnie hunched over the open brain of some villian and non-chalantly responding to a question regarding the contents of the head by saying, "No, its not a tumor." This movie will suck just like all Hollywood movies that try to combine big name stars with big name stories. They never live up to the hype.
July 7, 1999, 2:07 p.m. CST
I am one of Doc Savage's biggest fans. To be honest, Doc Savage was one of the first books I ever read that lit a fire under my reading habits(The Freckled Shark). But Arnold. I don't know about that. I'd be much more excited to see Speilberg/Lucas credits. I wait with excitement tempered by trepidation.
July 7, 1999, 2:10 p.m. CST
as in, really really mutant testacle stupid. A guy who does brain surgery to change bad guys? Man, I hope this NEVER gets off the ground. And usually, I like Harry's geek-out posts, but this just comes from left field. (and also, I couldn't give 2 squats about LOTR, either)
July 7, 1999, 2:13 p.m. CST
Never posted before, but this topic breaks my silence. This film could be believably made for many reasons. I'm a major Doc fan and would love to see this film. Doc stands a better chance of being filmed, than say, The Hulk. The Hulk, et. al., call for a variety of expensive CGI effects. Doc is more rooted in reality. He himself is a human. He's not radiated, mutated, or from another planet. That's what I like about his character. He's more like a James Bond of the Depression era. He invents his own gadgets and has to rely with what's on hand to defeat the criminals, who usually dispatch themselves with their own devices. If this film is treated with the respect for the character we saw in "Mask of Zorro" it will succeed. We shouldn't judge 1930's adventure with 1990's/2000 sensibilities. My 2 cents: No Habeas, no trilling, and include his cousin Pat!
July 7, 1999, 2:21 p.m. CST
by Capt. Cavity
Val Kilmer IS Ham. Elizabeth Hurley is Pat Savage, damn the wrong hair color. Rebecca Romijn if you insist. Adam Goldberg as Monk. William H. Macy for Long Tom. Don Cheadle as a PC Johnny. Gary Oldman as John Sunlight, since Fortress of Solitude is in the lead; although Resurrection Day is still the best bet for a Mummy cash-in flick. The widow's peak is a 60's add-on, so it goes. A CGI autogyro is a must.
July 7, 1999, 2:29 p.m. CST
What did you guys think of The Phantom ? I thought it was pretty cool.
July 7, 1999, 2:30 p.m. CST
I honestly didn't know a thing about Doc Savage, but from what I've read here it sounds pretty cool, So long as it isn't campy. I couldn't stomach Arnold in another campy performance(after Batman and Robin I threw up my everything I'd eaten for the past 6 weeks)
July 7, 1999, 2:45 p.m. CST
by Darth Siskel
Yo Frank. Be a Kasdan and go help George write the next two installments of you know what.
July 7, 1999, 2:57 p.m. CST
Oh, god. OH GOD! I nearly shook the chair into the floor when I read this. THIS WILL BE AWESOME. Arnold is the ONLY man living who can play Doc Savage. Who better to play Doc the 'ultimate man' than Mr. Universe? And Eraser AND Mask were GREAT, so YES to Chuck Russell. THIS IS GONNA ROCK. But, yes, it HAS to be in the 30's. Jonathon Hyde (of Jumani/Titanic) fame HAS to be Ham. YEAH!!!! Renny should be De Niro. GO GO GO GO!!! Oh, boy. With this and the sure-fire awesomeness of True Lies 2, Arnold is finally BACHKKK!!!! (PS. Don't rip on Arnold, I'd bet ALL of you have watched T2 at least a dozen times)
July 7, 1999, 3:46 p.m. CST
When I was young I thought that Doc Savage was some sort of Gay book series about some muscle bound guy that ran around alot posing and flexing for everybody. I seriously think that this movie will suck( No pun intended)
July 7, 1999, 3:54 p.m. CST
Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! Finally redemption from that Ron Ely crap done in the seventies! Doc is DA MAN! And Arnold is the right man for the job. Thanks for making my day!
July 7, 1999, 3:56 p.m. CST
Arnold would be terrible as Doc Savage. Savage was powerful, handsome and, most importantly, the greatest scientist of the time. Arnold can convincingly portray only one of these characteristics. My vote is for Dolph Lundgren. He's powerfully built, has a black belt in karate, was a male model before he became an actor and was a physics major in college before he became a model. And as for the widow's peak someone mentioned earlier, Savage didn't have one. That was the invention of Bama, the artist who did the paperback covers. Savage was supposed to resemble Clark Gable. Or think Superman, who was drawn to resemble Doc Savage as he was drawn on the pulp covers.
July 7, 1999, 4:27 p.m. CST
This movie sounds like an old Amiga game called Chaos Engine. If they keep to a visual style like that old game;s artwork I would surely go see it.
July 7, 1999, 4:56 p.m. CST
A new Arnold movie is always good news, but let's get real here. The Phantom Menace has proven once and for all that movies won't ever reach the all time height that they were in during the late 70's to the mid 80's. This movie may turn out to be really cool, but does anyone really agree with Harry and think that it is going to "beat Indiana Jones?" The trend movies are going these days, no way. TPM was supposed to be the big return and rescue, but it wasn't. I am still waiting to be pleasantly surprised. BTW, whatever happened to the follwing: Total Recall 2, True Lies 2, and The Planet of the Apes remake that Arnold was supposed to star in all of these? I heard about all of these here at AICN at one time or another; were they just more smoke and mirrors B.S. like a lot of the other stuff on this site or did they have some substance?
July 7, 1999, 6:52 p.m. CST
I LOVE Doc Savage. Love him. I have a ton of the books and have actually read most of them. But despite the fact that I am excited to see that a new Doc film is in the works, if there is a God in heaven, Schwarzenegger will lose interest after the first draft stage. He is more than a little wrong for the role of Doc Savage. He would be the pulp fiction equivalent of Jar-Jar Binks. Harry, I agree that you need to have Doc's 'Seven' to have a complete film, but I wouldn't be able to get past AH-Nuld's quips innundating the film. He has yet to do a role without them. Upon the death of Doc's arch-villain: "I'd say that he's seen the light." Big laffs. Mesa-no-tink so!
July 7, 1999, 8:08 p.m. CST
by JJ McClure
Yes, Chaos Engine! Boy, oh boy, do the Bitmap Brothers rock or what?? Holy shit, you know they should make a Xenon II: Megablast movie! Imagine that!!!!!!!!
July 7, 1999, 8:12 p.m. CST
How about Kurt Russell as Doc? What am I saying? Shoot me, shoot me now. Well at least it wasn't Bruce Willis.
July 7, 1999, 9:09 p.m. CST
Look, people. Arnold is the ONLY, I repeat ONLY person who can be Doc Savage. Ok, you rip on Arnie for being in Batman & Robin. JEESH! Yes, he was BAD in that movie. But only because he was given AWFUL dialog. I mean, even Kevin Spacey, your 'geek hero' I mean, what could even he do with lines such as "We will be the last people on earth... Adam and EVIL." Come on! It's kinda like the 'Barry Sonnefeld just made a bad movie so ALL his films are bad." backlash I'm noticing. Arnold was in one TRULEY bad movie and you think he's done for. OK! Last Action Hero wasn't that great, sure. I never saw Raw Deal. Other than that, WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM? Sure, his voice is a little strange. But I'll be damned if he didn't do a fine job of acting in True Lies. Thanks James. Ok, sure, Arnold's best role was as a robot. But let's look past that. OK, so Doc Savage, Man Of Bronze will be directed by Chuck Russell. Ok, here's the part where I say I really liked Eraser, and The Mask, which was Jim Carrey's best film to date. I know a lot of you like to rip on Eraser for ONE little scene, and I think you know which one, but, since when does ONE not-so-convincing effect ruin a movie? Arnold played a serious role in Eraser. The whole movie was done seriously. Sure, he had 2 one-liners. BIG DEAL!!! I'd rather hear "You're luggage" than some lame crap like "Always a bigger fish." OK! I have read probably 80% of the Doc Savage novellas. And Arnold has been around ever since I started indulging in them. And, for EONS all I could think was "Arnold IS Doc Savage." When I saw the Doc Savage movie, all I thought was "God, Arnold would RULE in this!" OK! Need to sleep soon, but here is my CASTING DREAM TEAM for Doc Savage - Man Of Bronze!!! [Doc - YOU KNOW WHO! [Renny- Bob De Niro [Ham- Jonathan Hyde [Monk- 'Tank' from The Matrix ['Long Tom'- Johnny Depp [Johnny- Steve Buscemi!! [Pat Savage (Doc's butt-kicking cousin)- Jennifer Lopez! Ok guys, get filming! I'll be the dude standing first in line!!!!!
July 7, 1999, 9:13 p.m. CST
by Boss Hog
Before you piss your pants, Harry. With all the "alledged" comic book movies that are destined to hit the screen, few ever do. The few that do hit the screen (whether they star Alec Baldwin or Dolph Lundgren) are rarely any good.
July 7, 1999, 9:49 p.m. CST
Its easy to guess people's ages by their response to this announcement. I too grew up reading Doc novels (own 77 of 'em!). This would be just too sweet. The camp issue here is a matter of terminology, I think. It can't be "cute" or "corney". There is a little myth to it (brain operation to remove evil tendencies), but Raiders of the Lost Ark had ghosts and people melting. No one (IMHO) would accuse ROTLA of being campy. Buckaroo Banzai was campy. You gotta play this one straight, but give it its space for its own mythos. It'll work. God knows the novels do.
July 7, 1999, 9:56 p.m. CST
Forget Ahnold! The cast of the Fab five should all be big names and Doc himself should be a newcomer. It would balance it out and build it into an ensemble effort. They need to scour the SAG ranks for the actor that can meet this challenge and let more famous men play his pals. Ving Rhames HAS to be Monk! Patrick Stewart would be a great Ham. Clancy Brown as Renny. Jean Reno (The cleaner in 'The Professional') as Long Tom. And Gary Sinise as Johnny. With these guys fronting the Gang... they can build up whomever plays Doc. I recognize that 30's America did not have a high tolerance for AfrAmer's but that would explain why Monk was always in trouble. He would have to always be defending himself and it wouldn't seem campy that he was always in a fight. And Patrick Stewart plays the refined character quite well. His differences with Monk make a natural setting for their animosity. The other acotrs in this group could work around a 'noname' as long as he had talent. And let's face it... Arnold has none. Irregardless, Habeus must go!
July 7, 1999, 11 p.m. CST
by Jus' Wandrin'
No offense to Arnold fans, but isn't Schwarzenegger a little too "long in the tooth" to play Doc? I've always thought that Dolph Lundgren would make an excellent Doc Savage.
July 7, 1999, 11:41 p.m. CST
I read the first five or six of these when Bantam first published them many moons ago. Sorry, Harry, they just didn't hold my interest. As you said, they were set up as an team of the best led by the best of the best, but as I recall, most of the time the best ended up being pulled from various perils by Doc. Plus, like one of the other posters, I was--and still am when I think of it--very troubled by Doc's benevolent brain surgery. It's too much like Clockwork Orange by way of Machiavelli, i.e. sure it's behavior mod but it's for the good so it's okay. No thanks. I wouldn't want to see a rehabilitated Hitler. It's the same problem I've always had with Superman. Were I he, about the third time Lex Luthor came at me with kryptonite, he'd be taking a personal tour of the far side of the sun and the rest of Earth could then get on with its myriad lives. But, back to Doc, I will admit that a straight, non-camp piece set in the '30's would get my attention, depite my personal misgivings about the character himself. And I would point out that the first twenty minutes of Doc Savage, Man of Bronze plays quite nicely. After that . . . ,
July 8, 1999, 1:33 a.m. CST
by Pol Rua
Like many others, when I saw Arnold with the ripped shirt and wet, slicked-back hair in 'True Lies', I immediately thought of a million old Bama covers... BUT... If a Doc Savage film isn't going to end up a silly campfest like the George Pal version and (others will disagree) The Shadow - I'd have cast Gabriel Byrne in the lead there - the cast and crew are going to have to be dedicated to the CHARACTERS and THE STORY, not their own egos. If Arnold Schwarzeneggar stars as Doc Savage, it will be an Arnold Schwarzeneggar film, NOT a Doc Savage film. THIS. WILL. SUCK. Schwarzeneggar obviously doesn't give a rat's ass about the characters he plays as, whenever he is offered a character that is not a thinly-disguised (if it is disguised at all) version of his noxious public persona, he just plays his usual character anyway. In interviews about Mister Freeze, he described the character thus: "He's great. He just goes around freezing things." Is this the kind of perceptive character actor we need as Doc? I have been waiting for this film for ages, and if it is done right, the producers are going to have to spend a lot of money. Money they can save by NOT employing this odious, no-talent, borderline-incomprehensible jarhead ham. Maybe if he has brain surgery himself at Doc's upstate clinic to eliminate his egomaniacal tendencies... but otherwise, NO.
July 8, 1999, 6:23 a.m. CST
I think most of the comments against this film are sadly accurate. While I can deal with the accent and I think that Arnie is physically the right type, Hollywood just is not going to be able to keep its pants on. Look, this is the same Hollywood film industry that had the oor Shadow being chased by a rolling bomb (Oh the Irony...)! Too bad, but there is no way that the movie makers of today will be able to reconcile the cool but outre aspects of the characters with the need to show that they are way hipper than the audience. And if they use special effects to make charactes look or act more the part (digital actor shrinkage; dubbing Arnie's voice), it will just be an annoying distraction from the busines at hand. It's not necessary for this film, like it is in Star Wars or Lord o' the Rings.
July 8, 1999, 6:18 p.m. CST
by Captain Z
First, Doc is not an American citizen, born off the coast of Andros Island in a boat. Given that the "universal" language of scientists was (at the time) German, an accent is not _completely_ out of line. HOWEVER...Arnold would be "The Star". The representation of the Fab Five would be in his shadow throughout, even though in many of the stories, Doc himself was in disguise, presumed dead or otherwise indisposed...and he counted on the abilities of the Fab Five to save him and/or themselves. The B&W sketch on the backs of the Bantams pretty much shows the FF as they should appear, all subsequent representations aside (while I liked James Bama's representations of Doc, the original pulp illos were more appropos). Who is there in Hollywood who could play the Fab Five, stay in Arnold's shadow, and _still_ be as vibrant and alive as both the characters require *and* as playing against Arnold as supporting actors would require? Renny: Could be Stallone...thinking about it, he would work. Monk: Someone built like DeVito, but a little taller...or a shorter and younger Dennehy...barrel-chested and always looks ready fro a fight. Johnny: Oddly enough, I can see Gary Burghoff in theis role, save for the height...but not the presence against Arnold unless he's got acting reserves we have yet to see. Ham: Jonathan Hyde...not much else I can think of to do it. LongTom: Has to look weak and sickly, and tall as can be...for this alone, I'm at a loss. Possibly Jeff Goldblum, if he can drop the nebbish routine out of his repertoire... And if we bring in Pat? Hoo boy... My choice for script? COLD LIGHT. Signing back into the Hidalgo Trading Company...
July 9, 1999, 6:46 p.m. CST
Seems there's a lot of concern, both by Doc newbies and older fans, about this aspect. This is a very minor aspect of the character, and could be dropped without any impact whatsoever. Criminals Doc collared (and face it, most of them met with grisly death in their own traps) could be sent to Doc's 'crime college' without surgery ever coming up. No problem.
July 10, 1999, 2:54 a.m. CST
by Dr.Drake Ramoray
Harry, I can't tell you how much I share your exitement on this project. I've wanted to see Doc "done right" since 1975. I always felt that George Pal had most of the elements to do credit to the characters ( the music did really hurt the movie though), but it was obvious that the material wasn't being taken seriously. Now, I know that this isn't ER or FAILSAFE, but if the production crew doesn't RESPECT the characters, it'll show. If there is to be humor in the script ( and Doc did joke with his aides, just not a lot), lets hope that we're laughing with the characters, NOT at them. Also, I read on one of the Doc websites recently that Street & Smith ( or whoever owns them these days) charges over $100,000.00 just to option the rights to Doc. That's just to get started, not counting what the bill would be if a film/television series etc., were actually made. That's over ten times what Edgar Rice Burroughs estate charges to option Tarzan, a character known the world over. To spend this money on a relatively obscure character like Doc in these days of ever tighter budgets in tinseltown says to me that this is being taken pretty seriously. And lets face it folks, Arnold is as big as it gets when it comes to action pictures. My casting call: Doc; Arnold, Renny; Bruce Cambell, Johnny; Steve Buscemi, Long Tom; David Hyde Pierce from Fraiser, Monk; I'm not sure of the actor's name, But the guy who plays Mackey on Remember WENN on AMC would be pretty good. Which brings us to Ham & Pat. I really like the idea of Jenifer Lopez, someone else said that earlier, Ham, how about Billy Zane?
July 10, 1999, 11:26 p.m. CST
by Kit Walker
I have never read a batch of more clueless posts at one time than I have here. Geeze, most posts admit they know NOTHING about the character, then proceed to yap about how the movie shouldn't be made. Don't base all you know about the character on the short description on this site. The distinct features of each of the Fab 5 really don't need to be taken to the extreme in the movie--except a simian looking Monk would help, hence the name. I'm not expecting a Renny with abnormal hands, or a freakishly thin Johnny. And for the record, "Spock," Doc IS known around the world, having been published in French, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese to name a few. And "Spock"? Doc had that nerve-pinch trick and cool logic way before your name sake, so try posting about something you know, okay? So many posts bitching about Arnold having to get his quip qouta in the film, and most can't resist their own half-wit quip--the mind reels. This IS a roll that can expand Arnold's career, dramatically. I know one thing--the movie won't focus on Doc's operating on criminal's brains. You want an idea what a good Doc flick can be like? Go see THE MUMMY again. That seemed to make a few bucks too, didn't it? Doc is the hero character all others stole from--Superman, Batman, Bond--you name it, they owe something to Doc. If done right, this movie will be great. And give us a hero we can actually tell from the villan.
July 11, 1999, 1:42 p.m. CST
I can't wait for Arnold to give us a new character that will rival all the other legendary film hero's.
July 25, 1999, 1:54 p.m. CST
A long-standing techo-dream of mine was that the Pal aberration, "Doc Savage" be released on DVD. At that point I could surgically remove the soundtrack. The first 15-20 minutes were fine, then the Peruvian Marching Powder kicked in and the entire production wandered off in odd directions. IF made, Arnorld would have to learn to speak English - 1930's New York City English. IF made, it MUST have a soundtrack of really cool, dirty speakeasy jazz and blues. IF made, the effects had better be seamless, mostly non-CGI. IF made, they better have aircraft and automobile experts. (Somebody call Leno!) IF not Scwarzeneggar, howzabout Ralf Mueller, the TV Conan? He's buff, can speak properly, and is younger and a better actor. IF madi, it would be, in tone, almost a perfect counterpoint to LotR!
July 28, 1999, 5:39 a.m. CST
The casting of Arnie as Doc will be the LEAST of our worries: those who have cited his performance in 'True Lies' are right -he COULD do it, but only if the script is right. The script will NOT be right. The film-makers will ignore everything the fans tell them the movie should be (after all, THEY are professional film-makers and we're only the people who've devoured every super-saga, enthused about the character to anyone who'd listen and have generally kept the property 'alive' since the 30s) and will create their own vision of the property. This vision will be off at a tangent to the Doc who has attracted fans from all over the world in every generation since the 1930s, and will alienate those fans while simultaneously failing to create the appeal to a 'broader audience' that the film-makers will cite in defence of the changes that they will inflict on the property. The best we can hope for is something a lot like The Shadow. What we can't hope for is that the movie would live up to its potential and 'out-Indiana Jones Indiana Jones'. For that we can only pray.
July 28, 1999, 5:16 p.m. CST
when you're right, you're right. this is the chance for a whole new generation to meet the greatest adventure hero of all time. arnold definitely is a fine pick. hooray
Aug. 1, 1999, 3:05 p.m. CST
As a distant relative of Lester Dent's and what I know of the man, I am not sure he would be real happy about this movie. I am afraid the movie people will make his characters different from what he intended them to be like. In this day and age, sex sells and I would hate to see that happen to the movie. Also, Aronld as Doc bothers me too. His accent is a problem. If one looks at the cover art of the pulps from when Lester was alive and could over see how Doc was pictured then, to me it is much diferrent than after Lester's death. The later Doc novel's cover art are more like Conan the Barbarian. Which interpetation are the movie producers going with, the 30's or the 60's to 90's. Also, I wonder who has the rights to Doc Savage?
Sept. 15, 1999, 10:41 a.m. CST
Obviously the passions both pro-and con- Arnold are running fierce here, but I DO think he can pull off the character, especially with a proven director. I also agree that the actual likelihood of this ever making it to production are slim at best: Mr. S. has a number of commitments to fulfill before this would be a done deal, and given the industries penchant for actually greenlighting about 1/100th of what gets announced, I'm not going to hold my breath. My single casting recommendation: Brian Thompson as Renny. He's bigger than Arnold, and has a great look for a character Dent described as, "looking as if he were always at a funeral" (my paraphrase). Also, he's fairly well-known in the action/sf genre, although not a "name" most would recognize. I'm going a bit out on a limb here and would like to offer that, as opposed to a strict "period piece", that it might be better to create a production design for this film that is rooted in the 1930's, but features some unique design elements that would give a more unique visual look, sort of like what was done with the original Burton "Batman". Too bad the late Mr. Furst is no longer with us! I totally agree about the "camp factor"; I was actually embarrassed when I saw the Pal version in first-run. I should have known what it was going to be like, when they showed several 3-Stooges one-reelers as a preview. My 2-cents on the "brain operation" factor: this was Dent's attempt to show that Doc was A.) ahead of his time in treating criminal behavior as a physiological manifestation, rather than just an environmental one (keeping in mind that MOST of the major villians Doc encountered were truly EVIL, and most likely would not have been successfully "converted"), and B.) that he was compassionate. This was done using what was, at the the time, the best information available regarding behaviorism; obviously, today we understand to a much greater degree how the human brain functions, and that such an operation, would not in most cases achieve the desired effect. Still, it's a minor point, and one that as another poster suggested, need not even be mentioned. Finally: I would really like to see a film that goes back to the original stories for it's inspiration as opposed to the Bama visual style. In this regard, I think Arnold actually does come pretty close to the old pulp covers. Compare them with the "True Lies" headshot, and I think you'll see what I mean.
March 15, 2000, 11:41 a.m. CST
Folks, you do not want Arnold Schwarzennegger in the title role. 1) He's too old (middle fifties). Doc was in his early thirties at the beginning of his career. Arnold is older than Doc was at the END of his career. Remember, the fabulous five were all older than Doc by ten to twelve years. They'd have to change their name from the Fabulous Five to the Fabulous Old Guys Well Past Retirement Age with Arnold in the role. Even if they warp things to make the Fabulous Five Arnold's age, they're still gonna be the gray brigade. 2) He would never be able to get around to a second Doc film. With Arnold in the role, we will get one film, and that's all, folks. He has so many commitments on his time we'll be lucky to see this film, let alone two. With Arnold up for the role, it is the single biggest impediment to a movie getting made. Too many chances he will have to bow out at the last minute, or decide not to do it for some reason, and once he dumps the project, the studio will too, more than likely, since Arnold's leaving the project will be negative publicity. 3) Any script for the movie will get slanted too much to his character, and slight the fabulous five. Movie studios like to get the most out of the ridiculously high $20 million fees they have to pay now for big name actors. 4) With Arnold in the role, the cost of the movie escalates, both because of his bloated salary, and because the studio will feel obliged to back up their investment in Arnold with bigger production and advertising budgets. This means that if the movie bombs, losing a lot of money for the studio, we will NEVER see another Doc movie. (This is not much of an issue, since Arnold will not be back for a second outing in any case: too many commitments, and, of course, he's getting too old to do a movie series.) 5) Look, folks, Harrison Ford WANTS to do another Indiana Jones film. He always has. He loves the character. Just too many commitments to get around to it. Even if Arnold has enormous success as Doc Savage, even if he loves the role, he ain't gonna be able to get around to another one for years and years, and he doesn't have that many years left for muscleman roles.
April 18, 2000, 10:52 p.m. CST
by D.S. Caliban
He Great and We could get madonna to Play PATRICIA --she's buff ;^b
Aug. 10, 2006, 8:59 a.m. CST
Sept. 27, 2009, 2:37 a.m. CST
...I mean, I've been waiting for a decade now. Maybe they'll do it in 3-D now, since that's all the rage with the kiddies! :)