This past weekend, Sylvester Stallone returned to the big screen as one of his most popular film characters, John Rambo, in Rambo: Last Blood. Between this reprisal and his recents turns as Rocky Balboa, you might wonder if Stallone is pulling a Harrison Ford and plans on revisiting more of his past characters. We’ll have to wait and see if that does indeed happen, but for his next project, Stallone is jumping back into the original stories pool with a superhero thriller.
First announced earlier this year, Samaritan will follow a young boy who embarks on a journey to discover if a “mythical superhero,” who vanished 20 years earlier “following a tragic event,” is still alive. Although Stallone’s role in Samaritan still technically hasn’t been announced yet, one could logically presume that he’ll play the superhero in question. While it was unclear back in February when Samaritan would get off the ground, now it’s been revealed that it will begin shooting early next year.
Deadline also reports that Overlord director Julius Avery will helm Samaritan, with Avery telling the outlet:
Sly is a hero of mine, I’m incredibly thrilled to be working with such an iconic actor on this very special project with Balboa Productions and MGM.
Samaritan will be Julius Avery’s third movie, as before last year’s Overlord, he made his feature filmmaking debut with 2014’s Son of a Gun. Avery was previously tapped to write and direct a Flash Gordon reboot, but he was later replaced by Taika Waititi, and following Disney’s acquisition of Fox, that project has been cancelled.
Julius Avery will be working off a script written by Escape Room’s Braig F. Schut. In addition to his on-camera work, Sylvester Stallone is also producing Samaritan with his Balboa Productions partner Braden Aftergood. The production company also has a biopic about boxer Jack Johnson in the works.
Although superhero movies are reigning supreme in Hollywood right now thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and various DC movies, it’s rare you find an entry in this genre that’s not based on existing IP. One can assume that Samaritan won’t have as large a budget that an MCU flick is given, so it’ll be interesting to see how it ultimately performs, but I admire Stallone for using his influence to deliver an original story in this increasingly crowded cinematic sphere. It’s also worth noting that Samaritan won’t be Sylvester Stallone’s first foray into the world of superheroes.
Just two years ago, he appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as Stakar Ogord, a high-ranking Ravager, who, in the comics (like Yondu) was a member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy. Although James Gunn will tackle Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after he’s finished with The Suicide Squad, it remains to be seen if Stallone’s Stakar and his old Ravager buddies will be involved in the threequel. And while it’s not a superhero movie in the technical sense, let’s not forget (or maybe we should) that Stallone had comic book movie experience under his belt long before Guardians 2 in 1995’s Judge Dredd.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates concerning Samaritan as they come in. For now, you can head to your local theater to watch Sylvester Stallone shoot bad guys with a bow and arrow in Rambo: Last Blood, and if you’re curious about when the rest of this year’s movies are coming out, look through our 2019 release schedule.