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April 24, 2014

The Saint is coming back to TV

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 10th 2008 1:01PM
Roger MooreHello! The Saint is rising again. The venerable character, who was created by writer Leslie Chareris in novels in the 1920's, will be back on television in a contemporary setting, and actor James Purefoy (Rome) has been in talks to play Simon Templar, the suave, British "good guy" thief. Aside from Purefoy, the Hollywood Reporter writes that the production team includes first class talent: Homicide's Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana (Oz), writer Jorge Zamacona, Bill Macdonald, and the original TV Saint himself, Roger Moore, and his son Geoffrey Moore.

Mr. Levinson will direct the two-hour TV movie, which will be the pilot for a proposed series. TNT had been interested, but has since backed off from the deal. Now, the film will be produced independently and then shopped to the networks. Producer Macdonald had previously worked on a Saint project in 1991, when acquired the rights to the books for producer Robert Evans. In 1997, they created a big-screen version of The Saint starring Val Kilmer. It was not deemed a hit and failed to produce a sequel.

The man with the previous, successful connection to The Saint in this new version is Roger Moore. Before becoming James Bond in the 1970s, Moore starred as Simon Templar for seven years on TV. His imprint on the role is more famous that any of the actors who've played in on screen, including George Sanders, Louis Hayward and Hugh Sinclair, who all were Simon Templar at one time or the other. It's hoped that Moore's involvement -- along with his son -- will bring some of the charm from his Saint to this new one.

Simon Templar (ST - the Saint) is a character who's been described as a Robin Hood type, stealing from the rich and doing good deeds along the way, all the while being dogged by Inspector Claud Eustace Teal, the Interpol agent determined to catch Templar red-handed. For this new incarnation, they're also casting Patricia Holm, a romantic interest/assistant, Patricia Holm, and an enemy-turned-partner in crime, Baldwin Aleppo.

At one point, Macdonald, Zamacona and the Moores interested TNT in The Saint as conceived, but they passed. Zamacona, who had his first writing job in the business on Homicide: Life on the Street, which Levinson and Fontana created, turned to them and they became attached to the project, too.

"One of the things we lost a little bit of in the movie but want to bring to the TV series is that Simon Templar is very funny character with great lines and situation humor, and I don't think there is anybody better than Levinson to tackle that," Macdonald said.

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s thompson

"when hollywood resorts to dredging up ancient ideas like The Saint, you know that they've completely run out of fresh ideas and that there is a poverty of creativity there."

The Saint was always a clever and entertaining series. I even liked the Ian Ogilvy version. Now if Hollywood decides to remake Supertrain-- then I'll consider the barrel dredged.

April 07 2008 at 6:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul McCall

"when hollywood resorts to dredging up ancient ideas like The Saint, you know that they've completely run out of fresh ideas and that there is a poverty of creativity there."
That landmark was passed when Hollywood remade "The Dukes of Hazzard" as a big budget film.

March 10 2008 at 6:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

In your list of Simon Templars, you forgot Vincent Price, who played "The Saint" on radio from 1947-1951.

March 10 2008 at 5:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
maurice

when hollywood resorts to dredging up ancient ideas like The Saint, you know that they've completely run out of fresh ideas and that there is a poverty of creativity there.

March 10 2008 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
malren

Just to add some color, Vincent Price was an American "Saint" on radio for some time. Very light, fun, humor-based plays with some action and always a tiny bit of a moral. Closer to a lighter version of a gumshoe than a Robin Hood, but all in all a good adaptation.

March 10 2008 at 4:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bradley Robertson

It's too bad the series didn't continue with Val Kilmer. That is one of my favorite movies as well as my wifes. However, it will still be nice if this comes to TV as long as who they cast as Simon Templar is well rounded enough to pull off the different identities.

March 10 2008 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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