Samaritan: All We Know About The Sylvester Stallone Superhero Movie

Sylvester Stallone is going to play Samaritan in a superhero movie that's coming soon. Let's dive into what we know.

By Rick Gonzales | Published

When it was announced back in 2019 that Sylvester Stallone was going to play in a superhero movie, thoughts of Marvel and DC began to dance around in the minds of comic book aficionados.  Just who could Stallone, the creator of such amazing characters such as Rocky Balboa, John Rambo, Barney Ross, Angelo “Snaps” Provolone, Tango, John Spartan, and Marion Cobretti, be playing? He’s already played King Shark (and if you want to get technical, Judge Dredd) so what more could one want? Then it was announced that the superhero Stallone would be playing was none other than Samaritan. Who? Well, let’s find out everything there is to know about Samaritan, the Sylvester Stallone superhero movie.


Comic book superhero Samaritan has been around for 28 years, created by comic book scribe Kurt Busiek in 1995. Samaritan, also known as “Big Red,” first appeared in the comic book series Astro City and was a mainstay throughout the comic book’s lifespan.

Samaritan is a very powerful superhero. He hails from the 35th century, a time when the world was collapsing, and humanity was all but lost. In their efforts to save the planet, scientists came up with time travel. They were to send a person back in time to stop the event that would eventually cause the destruction of the world. One man was chosen and after completing his time travel training, he was sent back. But as he was going through time, he was exposed to something called empyrean fire, an energy that would forever change him.

This man returned to 1985 and once he got there, he realized that he had been given incredible superpowers. He also then realized that the event he was sent back for to stop was the space shuttle Challenger from being destroyed shortly after liftoff. When he did this (save the Challenger and its crew) it changed the entire flow of history. When he was asked by reporters after saving the lives of the crew just who he was, he simply said he was “a good Samaritan.”

Because of his exposure to the empyrean, he has some unique superpowers that include flight, superhuman strength, superhuman durability, reality warping, and dimensional travel. Samaritan was able to return to his time briefly to ensure that his efforts were not in vain. When he arrived, he did see that his mission was successful, but he also saw that his family had been killed. So, Samaritan returned to the 20th century where he felt he could do more to help the world.


Whether we get that entire backstory in Stallone’s Samaritan is an unknown. What we do know is that this film tells the story of 13-year-old Sam Cleary who thinks that maybe, just possibly, his neighbor Joe Smith might be the long-lost superhero Samaritan. Smith works as a garbage man and is on the scene when Sam is being taken to the woodshed by a bunch of bullies. Smith stops the bullies, but in doing so he shows a little more strength than a normal man should show, especially one of Smith’s age.

Sam begins to get curious and starts to follow Smith. Eventually, Sam is convinced he is looking at Samaritan, the superhero who supposedly died 25 years prior. As crime continues to rise in the city, it is up to Sam to convince Joe that he needs to return as Samaritan to make things right in the city. Check out the trailer with Sylvester Stallone as Samaritan.


We already know that Sly Stallone will play Joe Smith/Samaritan. Sam Cleary is being played by Javon Walton. The young actor is best known for playing Ashtray in the HBO series Euphoria, but has also been seen in Utopia, The Umbrella Academy, and has provided the voice for Pugsley Addams in the animated film, The Addams Family 2. Joining Stallone and Walton are Martin Starr (Freaks and Geeks), Moisés Arias (as Rico in Hannah Montana), Dascha Polanco (Orange is the New Black), and Pilou Asbæk (Game of Thrones).


Back in 2019, MGM purchased a spec script called Samaritan, written by Bragi F. Schut. Stallone got his hands on it and the film was then going to be produced by Stallone’s Balboa Productions shingle. Schut actually had written the screenplay before turning it into a series of comic books (graphic novels).

Right as Stallone was setting it up for Balboa Productions, he also decided he wanted to star in it. His next order of business was to find a director for the project. He landed on a good one when Julius Avery was chosen to bring Samaritan to the big screen. Avery has directed a number of short films and in 2014 he got his first feature with Son of a Gun. But he is best known for the awesome 2018 horror/thriller/war film Overlord that starred Wyatt Russell and Jovan Adepo.

Samaritan also reunites Avery with Pilou Asbæk, who played Wafner in Overlord. Avery is slowly beginning to build a nice resume as his next film, which is currently shooting, will be The Pope’s Exorcist, which stars Russell Crowe as real-life Father Gabriele Amroth, a priest who was the Vatican’s chief exorcist and who performed more than 100,000 exorcisms in his remarkable life.


Filming on Samaritan began in February 2020 and had an initial theatrical release date of November 20, 2020. World complications from COVID then set the movie back to a December 11, 2020 release date. Seeing that wasn’t going to work, the movie was then pushed to June 4, 2021. Well, those three dates have long passed as has its theatrical release. Now Samaritan will be seen on Prime Video with an August 26, 2022 premiere.


Earlier, we listed a number of Sylvester Stallone’s most famous characters. Not only does he have those characters in his bag of tricks as well as Samaritan upcoming, but he is also ready to star in Taylor Sheridan’s new TV series Tulsa King, marking the first time Stallone has performed in a TV series. So, what is it about the man that makes him such a draw?

You undoubtedly have to go back to the very first time he played Rocky Balboa. It was his first major introduction to audiences, and they immediately fell for his rough-around-the-edges underdog persona. He could be brutal yet sweet. He could be lethal, yet charming. The public took to his Rocky character but also loved the characters he followed up Rocky with. Even at 76 years young, Sylvester Stallone has still got it.