Talk about your typecasting: Super rich strongman Arnold Schwarzenegger has been tapped to play super rich strongman Doc Savage in a just-announced new film.

Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze will put Schwarzenegger in the role of the classic character many consider America's first superhero. Equal parts Superman and James Bond (but predating both), Dr. Clark Savage Jr. was created in the 1930s by Lester Dent (writing under the the pseudonym Kenneth Robeson) and went on to star in hundreds of hugely popular pulp novels, comics and magazines.

A gadget-loving, globe-hopping, physically imposing physician with money to burn (thanks to a stockpile of Mayan gold tucked away in remote South America), Savage owes his "Man of Bronze" sobriquet to an epidermis "kilned by tropical suns and arctic winds" to a hue George Hamilton would envy. Along with his sidekicks, a group of eccentric braniacs dubbed the Fabulous Five, he regularly dispatched bad guys intent on world domination/destruction.

Doc Savage will be coproduced and codirected by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) and Chuck Russell (Eraser, The Mask) for Castle Rock Entertainment. Warner Bros. and Universal are splitting distribution duties. No shooting schedule has been announced.

Schwarzenegger, who just wrapped End of Days, a supernatural thriller pitting him against Satan that's due out November 24, is an old pro at playing comic-book types like Conan the Barbarian and Batman nemesis Mr. Freeze (Batman & Robin).

Arnold's flick, which Castle Rock is hoping to turn into a multi-film, 007-like franchise, is the second screen version of the pulp hero. TV Tarzan Ron Ely starred as the super surgeon in the campy 1975 stinker also called Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze.

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