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(Photo: Victor Chavez/Getty)

It’s amazing that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson somehow hasn’t yet managed to appear in a superhero movie. But while we wait to see whether DC Comics’ much-touted Shazam movie, in which he’s slated to play the villain Black Adam, will ever materialize, he’s found another heroic project to take on in the meantime.

Johnson has confirmed that he will officially play the lead in Doc Savage, an upcoming project from writer/director Shane Black (The Nice Guys, Iron Man 3). Considered one of the strongest precursors to early superheroes such as Superman and Batman, Savage debuted in pulp magazines in 1933, and remains one of the most iconic characters from the pulp era.

The original Doc Savage stories saw the titular hero, a polymath who excelled both physically and mentally, adventuring and battling villainy. He’s essentially the brain of Sherlock Holmes in the body of Superman, with a widow’s peak haircut. Despite his iconic popularity and his continued new adventures in comic books, however, he has only made it to the big screen once before, in the shape of the poorly-received Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze in 1975.

Johnson took to Instagram earlier today (May 30) to confirm his involvement in the project:

It's OFFICIAL: For all comic book fans you already know the world's first superhero (pre-dating Superman) is the "Man of Bronze" himself Clark "Doc" Savage. Want to thank my bud director/writer Shane Black and his writing team Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry for flying in from LA and sitting with me and our @sevenbucksprod's producer @hhgarcia41 on this Memorial Day weekend to chop up creative and break story on this very cool project. Comic book fans around the world know that the cool thing about "Doc" Savage is that he's the inspiration for Superman. First name Clark, called "Man of Bronze", retreats to his "Fortress of Solitude" in the Arctic etc etc. Doc was physically and mentally trained from birth by his father and a team of scientists to become the perfect human specimen with a genius level intellect. His heightened senses are beyond comprehension. He can even identify a women's perfume from half a mile away. He is literally the master of everything. But here's the #1 reason I'm excited to become Doc Savage.. HE'S A F*CKING HILARIOUS WEIRDO! Confidently, yet innocently he has zero social graces whatsoever due to his upbringing so every interaction he has with someone is direct, odd, often uncomfortable and amazingly hilarious. After speaking for hours w/ Shane Black I can see why the creator of Superman took only the best parts of Doc Savage and leaving the "weirdo" part behind. But to us, it's that "weirdo" part that makes Clark "Doc" Savage dope! Can't wait to sink my teeth into this one of a kind character. #ItsOfficial #WorldsFirstSuperhero #GeniusIntellect #PhysicalSpecimen #FnLoveableWeirdo #DocSavage

A photo posted by therock (@therock) on

Black had already stated in previous interviews that Johnson was his ideal choice for the role, and this casting now looks to set the film up ready to be the director’s next major project when he finishes shooting the upcoming Predator remake. Johnson, meanwhile, will next be seen in action comedy Central Intelligence, due out in June; and recently wrapped filming on next year’s Baywatch.

And we’d be very surprised if the good Doctor ends up being the last super-powered character he plays before the decade is out…

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By Seb Patrick