Francis Lawrence And 'The Fighter' Screenwriter Transform 'Samson' Into A New Superhero Story

The Fighter is a great movie on many levels, and it is powered by a great screenplay by Scott Silver. He has worked with real life characters who are larger than life (he also wrote 8 Mile) and is now turning to a literal superhero. Or perhaps I should say mythic — even biblical — superhero, since his new project is based on the story of Samson and Delilah. (Painted above by Anthony van Dyck in 1630.)

Speaking to NBC, Scott Silver said,

I'm finishing up something completely different [than The Fighter], a superhero movie set in the future for Warner Brothers. It's an original superhero.

That immediately touched off thoughts of Samson, which we heard about very briefly last year as something Francis Lawrence was producing and would possibly direct after Water For Elephants. Indeed, they're the same project, which makes me wonder about the idea of it being an original hero. But transporting Samson into the future and rewriting him as a strong guy with a major weakness could lead to just about anything.

At some point when [The Fighter] fell apart – we had Brad Pitt attached and we couldn't get it made – I was like, 'I literally have the cliché of having a script that can't get made with Brad Pitt. I have to do something that people want to get made.' So this producer Erwin Stoff and Francis Lawrence and I came up with a superhero based sort of on Samson set in the future. It's an original superhero and we were fortunate enough to sell it to Warner Brothers. I've been dealing with sci-fi shit and superhero stuff, which is all new to me.

The 'sci-fi shit' line seems kind of tongue in cheek, given that Mr. Silver is a comic-book fan.

I love comic books and in some ways, because studios are making less dramas, there are a lot of dramatic elements and themes that you can get away with in a superhero movie, like Chris Nolan did in 'Batman', that you couldn't get away with in any other movie. You can do dramatic stuff if it's dealing with all superhero stuff, and that's what I wanted to try to do.