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SYFY WIRE Sylvester Stallone

'Samaritan': Sylvester Stallone says Amazon superhero flick shares DNA with 'Demolition Man' & 'Rocky'

Directed by Julius Avery (Overlord), the film arrives on Prime Video Friday, Aug. 26.

By Josh Weiss
Sylvester Stallone as Joe Smith in SAMARITAN

From Rocky, to Rambo, to The Expendables, Sylvester Stallone has never passed up an opportunity to kick butt and take names on the big screen. After all these years, however, the three-time Academy Award nominee is starting to deconstruct his badass tough guy legacy with projects like Samaritan. Hitting Prime Video later this week, the gritty and subversive film centers around a bitter and washed-up superhero who is coaxed out of retirement when a young kid (Javon “Wanna” Walton) discovers his true identity.

"I have a knack for this particular kind of mythology, action films that also have heart like Demolition Man, Cliffhanger, and Rocky," Stallone explains in the new behind-the-scenes featurette below. "Samaritan is very interesting because this hero says, 'I've had enough of trying to save society. I can't even save myself.' Then this young kid comes along and says, 'There's something about this old man here that's not ringing true' ... When people give up on a city, the badness comes in. And so, the bad is taking over Granite City and I go back and do my hero stuff."

Amazon also debuted a sneak peek clip, which shows the titular vigilante begrudgingly springing into action to save the life of an innocent bystander.

Check out both below:

Written by Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room) and directed by Julius Avery (Overlord), the movie also features the acting talents of Pilou Asbæk (Game of Thrones), Dascha Polanco (Orange is the New Black), and Moises Arias (City of Ghosts).

Stallone produced the film alongside Braden Aftergood (Nobody). Schut, David Kern (Candyman), Adam Rosenberg (Creed III), and Guy Riedel (John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum) are executive producers.

"The idea originally came to me when my wife was pregnant with my son, and I was very nervous about becoming a dad,” Schut, who also created a Samaritan graphic novel to accompany the screenplay, explains in the official production notes. “I remember thinking,‘Am I going to be good enough?’I was trying to take stock of that. I started to think there was a story opportunity there. I liked the idea of a character who tries to live up to an ideal and becomes a better person through his friendship with a young boy. That really was the beginning of the idea."

“I had read this script and always loved it — it was an extraordinary and very original story that deconstructed the genre,” continues Aftergood. “The challenge, obviously, was finding a 70-somethingactor who had the requisite physicality, is a great actor, has a body of work that adds to the story, and has an international following. That, of course, could only be Sylvester Stallone.”

Samaritan lands on Prime Video this coming Friday, Aug. 26.

Looking for more superhero action? Stream Heroes on Peacock.