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Shane Black Wants Dwayne Johnson For ‘Doc Savage,’ Talks ‘The Nice Guys’ Sequel & ‘Lethal Weapon 5’

Shane Black Wants Dwayne Johnson For 'Doc Savage,' Talks 'The Nice Guys' Sequel & 'Lethal Weapon 5'

Last night, while you were sorting through the Twitter reaction to “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” (read our review), Warner Bros. dropped the new trailer for “The Nice Guys” (watch it here). And the R-rated picture starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe plays like the antithesis to Zack Snyder‘s punch-a-thon: breezy, funny, but still packing lots of action. And while the ’70s-set pulp story might not seems like the obvious basis for a series, writer/director Shane Black believes that if it does well, it could be the template for further adventures. 

“I have no problem with a detective franchise. You can always have another case. Especially I love this notion, if should it do well, I don’t want to jinx anything. It’s a landlocked franchise. This one takes place in the ’70s. The next one, we’d have to look at what’s down in the ’80s, what was going on in ’84, let’s say. What can we do? Then, if we did another one, it’d be the ’90s,” he told Thrillist. “I love that notion of creeping through the years, but they’re all landlocked. They’re all in a past era.”

There a few factors that need to be sorted before that becomes a reality, namely box office performance, and Black’s increasingly busy schedule. He’s next set to direct “The Predator,” and still brewing is “Doc Savage,” his adaptation of the vintage classic pulp fiction hero of the 30s and 40s. And he’s get a pretty magnetic lead in mind for the title role.

” ‘Doc Savage’ is sort of in the ether now. We’re hoping to make it sometime next year. I would very much like to do ‘Doc’ with a fellow named Dwayne Johnson if we can make that work. I made a decision that Dwayne is the guy. It’s on the back burner while he’s busy,” Black said.

And frankly, who doesn’t want The Rock these days? He’s pure charisma, guaranteed box office, and one of the most reliable stars at the moment. All that said, “Doc Savage” sounds like it needs calendars to clear and availabilities to open up before it really gets going.

Lastly, Black weighed in on what his concept was for “Lethal Weapon 5,” a project he reveals was cooking before a certain star ran into some certain trouble…

“…we flirted with ‘Lethal Weapon 5,’ and I think we had a pretty good movie, potentially. That would have been a slightly older, gunslinger version of the two of those characters. Now one’s 50 and one’s 60. That was another project I think that whatever chance it might have had went away with Mr. Gibson. Whether you think it’s fair or unfair, his chances of making $100 million movies kind of evaporated at that point,” the director said, candidly. And while the property is being rebooted as a TV series, Black says he’s not involved with it at all.

“The Nice Guys” opens on May 20th.

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