Iron Man 3 writer and director Shane Black will helm a film based on author Warren Murphy’s long-running series of The Destroyer novels, which previously inspired the 1985 film Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.
Sony Pictures announced the pairing of project and director this week, and indicated that Fight Club screenwriter Jim Uhls would co-write the film with the current author of the Destroyer novels, James Mullaney.
“Shane has been a fan of the original Destroyer book series since its inception and he has an incredible vision for this film,” said Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven, one of the film’s producers, in a statement accompanying the announcement. “The narrative Jim and James have created is incredibly rich and while it’s a story rooted in adventure, it is also very much character driven.”
Originally published in 1971, Murphy’s first novel — simply titled The Destroyer — introduced the character of Remo Williams, a former Newark police officer who was framed, then had his death faked by the government in order to become a secret agent for C.U.R.E., a shadowy organization tasked with combating threats to the country that must be dealt with in secret. He’s trained and assisted on many missions by Chiun, an ageless Asian assassin who teaches him the ways of Sinanju, a deadly martial art.
The series has spawned more than 150 novels (written by Murphy and various other writers) published regularly between 1971 and 2012, as well as a series of comic books and the aforementioned 1985 film. The film starred Fred Ward as the title character, and though it didn’t perform well at the box office, it went on to achieve a cult-classic status among fans of ’80s action movies.
Black is no stranger to action movies, having first made a name for himself as the screenwriter for the 1987 action classic Lethal Weapon. He went on to pen the scripts for The Last Boy Scout and The Long Kiss Goodnight, and made his directorial debut with 2005’s critically praised Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which starred Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer. Iron Man 3 was his second directorial project, having written and directed the film.