EXCLUSIVE: MGM’s superhero thriller movie Samaritan has set its cast as production ramps up next week with Euphoria actor and Junior Olympic boxing prodigy Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton landing the lead role opposite Sylvester Stallone. Walton will play a young boy who is out to discover if a mythic superhero, who vanished 20 years earlier following a tragic event, is still alive.
Overlord helmer Julius Avery is directing from a screenplay by Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room), with additional writing by Mark L. Smith (The Revenant), Zak Penn (Ready Player One), and Chuck MacLean (City on a Hill). The story is based on Schut’s original idea. Pic is scheduled for release on Dec. 11 via United Artists Releasing with Universal handling foreign. Stallone and Braden Aftergood, partners of Balboa Productions, are producing Samaritan as the first project for their company. Schut will serve as EP.
MGM Makes First-Look Film & TV Deal With Killer Films
MGM is also in development with Balboa Productions on a biopic about the boxer Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight champion. Antoine Fuqua is attached to direct.
Walton is known as Under Armour’s youngest athlete and a five-time Georgia state champion and 4-time USA Boxing South East regional champion boxer. In HBO’s edgy teen series Euphoria he plays Ashtray. Later this year, Walton will star in Utopia, Amazon’s adaptation of the British television series, written by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn. With almost 160k active followers on Instagram, he was discovered when Steve Harvey found him on social media in 2017 and brought him on “Steve”. He is repped by Abrams Artists and DJ Walton.
Starr just wrapped six-seasons as Gilfoyle on HBO’s comedy series Silicon Valley. He is also known for his roles in Freaks and Geeks, Party Down, and Veronica Mars. Last year, he starred in Amazon’s Honey Boy directed by Alma Har’el which originally premiered at Sundance. He also appeared in Spider-Man: Far From Home and Spider-Man: Homecoming. His other film credits include Under the Silver Lake, The Escape of Prisoner 614, Lemon, This Is The End, Adventureland, Knocked Up, and Superbad. Starr is repped by ICM, Rise Management and Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman.
PAsbæk played Euron Greyjoy in HBO’s multi-Emmy winning Game of Thrones. He can next be seen in Scott Waugh’s Project X-Traction with John Cena and Jackie Chan, as well as the Blumhouse film Run Sweetheart Run for writer/director Shana Feste which made its world premiere at Sundance. His additional film credits include Ghost in the Shell, Overlord, and several notable Danish films including The Absent One, Silent Heart, Speed Walking, Sex, Drugs & Taxation and A Family. He is repped by UTA and Untitled Entertainment.
Polanco portrayed Dayanara Diaz on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black for seven-seasons and starred in Ava DuVernay’s 2019 Netflix limited series When They See Us. She can soon be seen in her first lead film role in Adrian Martinez’s indie dark comedy iCreep, and Warner Brothers’ adaption of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights this summer. Her additional credits include the FX anthology series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story and films including Joy, The Perfect Match, The Cobbler and Gimme Shelter. Polanco is repped by Gersh, Liebman Entertainment, and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher.
Arias first made a name for himself as series regular on the Disney Channel hit original series Hannah Montana, and has since gone on to appear in several Sundance films including Kings of Summer,The Land and Stanford Prison Experiment. Last year, he appeared in CBS Films’Five Feet Apart as well as the Sundance World Dramatic Competition Special Jury Award winner Monos and the SXSW opening weekend film The Wall of Mexico. Arias is represented by KMR Talent and Myman Greenspan Fox Rosenberg Mobasser Younger & Light.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.