The Saint. An entertainment franchise that has been around for about as long as there have been entertainment franchises. Originally created by author Leslie Charteris in a series of 1930s novels, it’s been reinvented and adapted so many times since then that it should come as no surprise that a new modern-day incarnation is on the way once more. Or, to be more accurate, a new modern-day incarnation from 2018 is on the way once more with some new faces.
Originally set with Chris Pratt to star, Paramount has new instead tapped Chris Pine, another member of Hollywood’s Chris-tianity (the others being Evans and Hemsworth) to take the lead role of Simon Templar. Deadline reports that Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher has now been set to helm as well, with a script in place already from Seth Grahame-Smith (The LEGO Batman Movie, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter). No details yet on how this new version will compare to past iterations. Charteris’ original literary hero has had many different professions across his many incarnations – thief, con-man, spy, etc. – but he was essentially always a Robin Hood-type figure who pulled off daring capers against criminals using his mastery of disguises.
Out of the many feature films and TV series adaptations of The Saint we’ve seen over the decades, the most famous is easily the Roger Moore-led TV series in the 1960s and the Val Kilmer-led movie from 1997. While the latter did introduce a whole new generation to The Saint, it wasn’t the greatest movie around. Let’s hope that this new Pine/Fletcher vehicle can up the bar.
Pine certainly knows how to play a slick and charming man-of-action extremely well, and has shown the range and morph-ability for all of Simon Templar’s various alternate identities. And while Fletcher has never helmed anything action-related, he did show himself to be quite a talent on Rocketman (not to mention pulling together Bohemian Rhapsody into a surprisingly coherent film after Bryan Singer was fired). Together, I think this has the potential to launch a new blockbuster franchise for Paramount.
All I’m asking from this new film though are two things. Firstly, keep the original logo and iconic theme song in place with no misguided modern remixes. We really don’t need a mumble rap version of one of the most recognizable tunes in TV history. Secondly, please bring back the hilariously overdramatic henchmen death throes and punch reactions from the Roger Moore series. Nothing like watching a criminal clutch a gunshot wound on their chest or a bruised up jaw before launching into the type of pirouettes that would make a Russian ballet company jealous. Those were the best.
Last Updated: April 23, 2020
For the Emperor!
April 23, 2020 at 19:35
Man, the teri-bad 2017 The Saint movie was horrible!