Studio acquires pitch for futuristic retelling

In a seven-figure upfront deal, Warner Bros. has acquired “Samson,” a pitch for a futuristic retelling of the Samson and Delilah story.

WB prevailed in a three-studio bidding battle. The seven-figure deal comes despite a sluggish year so far for deals on material. Aside from a strong writer and director, the project sparked bidding because it had a big idea that can be shaped into a tentpole project in which the concept is the star.

Scott Silver will write the script, and Francis Lawrence will direct. Erwin Stoff will produce through 3 Arts.

“Samson” gives a futuristic twist to the story of the biblical strongman who was invincible until he was betrayed by Delilah, to whom he entrusted the secret that his strength came from his long hair.

Lawrence last directed “I Am Legend,” and he is developing a prequel vehicle for Will Smith with writer D.B. Weiss. Lawrence also is exec producer (with Stoff and Michael Green) of upcoming NBC series “Kings.”

Silver scripted “8 Mile” and “The Fighter,” which Paramount is putting together with Mark Wahlberg.

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