Amazon Prime’s ‘Samaritan’ stars Sylvester Stallone as Joe Smith/Samaritan, a fabled superhero who mysteriously disappears from crime-fighting after a deadly incident. However, years later, a young boy named Sam discovers his past as Samaritan while a dangerous evil rises in the city. As a result, Joe is forced to come to terms with his past and return to action during the crisis.
Given the enthralling action sequences and uplifting themes of the superhero action movie directed by Julius Avery, viewers must wonder whether it is based on a comic book. So if you are looking for the inspiration behind ‘Samaritan,’ we have gathered all the answers for you right here!
Is Samaritan Based on a Comic Book?
Yes, ‘Samaritan’ is based on a comic book series of the same name, written by Bragi F. Schut, with Marc Olivent and Renzo Podesta. The movie is one of the latest additions to the storied genre of comic book adaptations that began picking steam in the 90s. Following the success of movies about comic book characters such as Spiderman and Batman, superhero movies became popular, leading to the birth of shared cinematic universes such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe.
Although, in recent years, comic book adaptations based on lesser-known properties such as ‘The Umbrella Academy,’ ‘Jupiter’s Legacy,’ and ‘The Boys‘ are also becoming popular. ‘Samaritan’ is an addition to the latter list as it is based on the comic series co-written by Schut. He had initially written the story as spec script before it was transformed into a graphic novel by Mythos Comics. Schut is an acclaimed writer known for his work on films such as ‘Escape Room’ and ‘Season of the Witch.’
The writer’s spec script was published as a graphic novel in 2014, and later, it was optioned by MGM and Stallone’s Balboa Productions in 2019 to be made into a feature film. Since the comic book was published first, it is safe to say that the movie draws inspiration from it and serves as a visual reference for the film adaptation. Unlike most superhero comic books, ‘Samaritan’ sets itself apart by diving into a world devoid of a superhero. In the story, the titular hero exists as a legend until the protagonist, Sam, uncovers his true identity.
Likewise, Sam’s family life and struggles with a world full of hardships give the story a different flavor. Given its grounded approach to a superhero world, viewers will find the story similar to director M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Unbreakable‘ starring Bruce Willis as David Dunn, a reluctant superhero. Furthermore, the movie uses comic books as a narrative tool, much like ‘Unbreakable.’ The dynamic between Sam, a troubled kid, and Joe, the reclusive agent of good, will remind viewers of 2000’s ‘Finding Forrester’ starring Sean Connery.
In the movie, Jamal Wallace, a black teenager with a troubled past, befriends the reclusive author William Forrester. Interestingly, the student-mentor relationships in both films play out similarly. Actor Sylvester Stallone opened up about the Amazon Prime movie’s realistic approach and relatable themes in a press release. “I wanted to be involved with Samaritan because this story has many layers that I think people can relate to. It’s something of a morality tale that is also very exciting to watch,’ he said, explaining what drew him to the project.
Ultimately, Stallone’s words perfectly sum up the movie’s emotional heart that sets it apart from other comic book adaptations. The story explores the themes of redemption and highlights the emotional vulnerabilities of the characters without losing the appeal of a classic comic book movie. Hence, ‘Samaritan’ retains the essence of the superhero movie genre.
Read More: Where Was Samaritan Filmed?