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Dwayne Johnson is involved in so many films that it's impossible for him not to have a backlog waiting in the wings. However, one that has been talked about for a long time, with little movement, has been a Doc Savage movie. The project is set to be written by Shane Black and star The Rock in the title role as the pulp-era adventurer, but things have been very quiet on that front for a long time. Now, Dwayne Johnson reveals the reason for the delay is in regards to business issues around the rights to the character. According to Johnson...
That project had a few issues, not creative issues but more so business affairs issues --- where the project once was, who had rights to it, where we were trying to move it to. There was a lot of that, which we're still kind of working through.
Dwayne Johnson has Rampage hitting theaters this weekend, another pair of films, Skyscraper and Fighting with my Family set for later this year, and numerous other projects from Disney's Jungle Cruise to a Fast and Furious spinoff to DC's Black Adam down the line. It wasn't clear where Doc Savage was going to fit in all that but based on what Johnson tells Collider, it likely won't be fitting in anywhere, as the project isn't ready to move forward until these rights issues are sorted out. These are the sorts of issues that can often take quite some time to clear up, so there's no telling when Doc Savage could be ready to go.
While The Rock's initial comment makes it sound like the Doc Savage issues are being actively worked through, the next thing he says is a bit more ominous, making it sound like it's possible these rights issues could hold the movie up indefinitely.
At the end of the day, Shane's such a spectacular writer or director, but whether it's that project or something else, we've made a pact that we're going to work together at some point in our careers.
If Dwayne Johnson is using the word or it could mean that he and Shane Black could conceivably work on some other movie together instead of Doc Savage, likely because the pair could decide the business issues are not going to reach the conclusion they want, and they leave the project behind. That would be really unfortunate as there may not be a better actor alive today to play the role than Johnson. Doc Savage is the perfect hero who has been physically and mentally trained since birth to be the best at everything, and if that isn't how Dwayne Johnson came to be, I'm not sure how he really exists.