Doctor Leonard Samson is a psychotherapist working at Culver University who became romantically involved with Betty Ross for a time. When Bruce Banner returned from hiding and came back into Ross' life, Samson became jealous and decided to call Betty's father Thaddeus Ross and have Banner arrested.
Dating Betty Ross
Samson met and began dating Betty Ross, although he was kind and cared for he, Samson was always aware that Ross was still in love with her former partner Doctor Bruce Banner, who had gone on the run five years prior and had not been seen or heard from in this time.
When Samson and Ross went to get dinner together, they decided to visit Ross' old friend Stanley Lieber and eat at his restaurant, although Lieber was closing up he agreed to feed the pair. While they waited for their food Samson and Ross enjoyed a long conversation, however Ross suddenly became distracted having seen something in the kitchen. Ross went to investigate but found nothing, she questioned Lieber who admitted that she had indeed seen Bruce Banner who had returned to America.
Helping Bruce Banner
- "You see a shrink?"
"It's a little bit more complicated than that."
"Trust me when I tell you I've heard them all."
"Not this one."
- ―Leonard Samson and Bruce Banner
Betty Ross found Bruce Banner attempting to go back on the run and convince him to come back with her, Samson agreed to have him as a guest in his home. While having dinner Samson spoke about one of his cases when Banner began to cry, claiming it was a long time he had been in such a comfortable and friendly situation.
Later that night Banner found Samson drinking wine and tending to the fire. Samson spoke to Banner about his own fears of having Betty Ross' former lover in his home and his regrets for not being able to have as strong a connection with her as she had with Banner. They went onto discuss Banner's return to America and Banner confessed he had issues that he needed to cure and he could be very dangerous when he lost control, when Samson compared the issues to anger management Banner assured him it was more complicated.
Informing General Ross
- "I give you my word, her safety is my main concern at this point."
"You know, it's a point of professional pride for me that I can tell when somebody's lying. And you are."
- ―Thaddeus Ross and Leonard Samson
Feeling uneasy of Banner's presence, Samson contacted Betty's father General Thaddeus Ross, tipping him off as to Banner's whereabouts, causing the Battle at Culver University. Samson ran to the University where he found General Ross in battle with the Hulk, Samson arrived in time to witness a helicopter crash landing and nearly killing Betty and the Hulk before the beast ran away with Betty in his arms.
Samson spoke to General Thaddeus Ross at his home in the aftermath of the battle, although Ross assured him that he would put all his resources into finding Betty Ross, Samson told him that he knew he was lying as Ross' primary concern was not for his daughter but for capturing the Hulk. When Samson expressed his belief that she would do whatever she could to protect Bruce Banner/Hulk, General Ross told him that her her a fugitive of the law before he left, commenting on his daughter's poor choice in men, referring to Banner and Samson.
Speaking to Betty
Betty Ross did not return for several weeks, during which time the Hulk was involved in a major battle with another monster, resulting in Bruce Banner disappearing once again. Eventually Ross phoned Samson to say she was alive. When Samson begged her to come home she forced him to confess that he had called Thaddeus Ross and caused the disaster. Despite his tearful apology, Ross told him she would not return although she did forgive him.
- While most of Samson's scenes were cut out of the final film, they are present in the Incredible Hulk: Extended Edition release, and are to be considered canon.
- Louis Leterrier chose Ty Burrell to portray Samson because, in an early script, the character was very much like the one Burrell interpreted in Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead.
- Almost all of Samson's scenes were cut from the final release of the movie: a dialogue between Samson and Bruce Banner, another one with General Thaddeus Ross, and two with Betty Ross, as well as a scene in which he's stated to be one of Banner's accomplices and a final scene in which he asks for Betty's forgiveness for having brought the Army to the campus and tries to convince her to come back, but fails.
- In the comics, Leonard Samson got the abilities of superhuman strength, stamina, durability, and consciousness from Gamma Radiation, becoming the hero Doc Samson.