Sylvester Stallone’s dark superhero project Samaritan has landed at MGM. Given the influx of superhero movies in the last 20 years featuring epic, city-destroying battles and indestructible heroes, it’s little wonder a subgenre of darker, more introspective movies have cropped up too. Oddly enough, M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable - which featured a seemingly normal man discovering he may have superpowers - is one of the earliest examples despite coming out before superhero movies were really in vogue. His recent, belated sequel Glass returned to these characters while commenting somewhat on where the genre has gone in recent years.
Hugh Jackman’s retired as Wolverine following 2017’s Logan, a gritty, R-rated take that found the character reflecting on his past. Movies like Kick-Ass, Super and even Deadpool have taken classic superhero movie tropes and approached them from a darker perspective. Following his turn as Starhawk in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2, Sylvester Stallone is set to star in Samaritan, which is described as a fresh take on the superhero genre.
Samaritan is set 20 years after a destructive battle left a city’s supervillain dead, with the hero disappearing shortly afterwards. A young boy later befriends an old man who he comes to believe is the hero in question, but the truth might be even darker. The script for Samaritan has been floating around for a few years, and now Deadline report MGM has acquired the project after a bidding war.
Given the success of Glass and Logan, studios likely see the value in projects that take a more grounded approach to the genre. Comic book movie fans are getting older, so it makes sense they’d occasionally like to see movies that deconstruct or play with the formula a little. Aside from his brief Guardians role, Stallone hasn’t really made a superhero movie before either, so it should be interesting to see him play such a character.
No director or release date has been announced for Samaritan yet, but it sounds like it was the source of a minor bidding situation, so MGM will likely want it filming sometime in the immediate future. Stallone is having a busy 2019, with both The Extractors: Escape Plan and Rambo V: Last Blood due for release this year. The Expendables 4 is expected to start filming soon for a 2020 release, and he’s finally set to tackle pet project Hunter, a horror/sci-fi novel that once formed the basis for Rambo V. Hunter sees a legendary tracker tasked with hunting and killing a man-made monster that was created in a government experiment.