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OTRC: Shane Black of 'Iron Man 3' directing 'Doc Savage'

Shane Black, director 'Iron Man 3, speaks to OTRC.com at the film's premiere on April 24, 2013. (OTRC)

Sony Pictures is striking while the "Iron" is hot.

Shane Black, co-writer and director of Marvel's hit film "Iron Man 3," has signed a deal with the production company to direct "Doc Savage," according to a statement obtained by OTRC.com on May 7.

Black, who began his entertainment career as the screenwriter of "Lethal Weapon" and went on to direct "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," also penned the "Doc Savage" screenplay, alongside Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry.

"We couldn't be more excited to be building a franchise from the ground up with Shane and this team," said Hannah Minghella, the president of production at Columbia Pictures, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment. "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" is based on a series of popular pulp fiction novels that first debuted in 1933 within the United States. Its primary protagonist, Clark Savage, Jr., is characterized as an adventurer and scientist in possession of unusual intelligence and strength -- qualities also exemplified by the popular Marvel character, Iron Man.

"Iron Man 3," which stars Robert Downey, Jr. as a metal-suited scientist combating terrorism, dominated the box office its opening weekend.

The action adventure film, which premiered on Friday, May 3, opened to a record-breaking $175.3 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film's debut marks the second best opening -- ever -- trailing only Joss Whedon's Marvel film, "The Avengers."

Overseas, where the Disney and Marvel threequel opened last weekend, the film grossed $175.9 million, putting the 3D movie's international cume at $504.8 million and worldwide haul at $680.1 million, according to THR.

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