After directing back-to-back fantastic British films, Dexter Fletcher has been tasked the mission to bring new life into a beloved TV iconic in the form of The Saint.
According to Variety, Paramount was so pleased with the filmmaker’s work on Rocketman, bringing in over $195 million on a $40 million budget, that he was given the franchise that made Roger Moore a household name in the 60s.
If you watch the show, you can see why producers wanted him as James Bond.
In case you’ve never heard of the series (if you live in the UK It still airs on ITV4) they came from books created by Leslie Charteris in the 1920s.
It centred on Simon Templar, a Robin Hood-esque, a smooth, sophisticated, globe-trotting British thief who uses his skills to take on corrupt politicians, the wealthy/elite and other powerful forces. His endeavours typically involved leaving his iconic calling card, a mockingly-posed stick figure crowned with a hovering halo.
There have been many, many, many attempts of rebooting the property with the most notable being the 1997 movie starring Val Kilmer (post-Batman: Forever and Heat). As a child knowing nothing about it watched the VHS in disbelief by how crap it was.
I wasn’t the only one as the film bombed at the box office totalling $118 million worldwide. Most recently there as a 2013 TV movie starring Adam Rayner as Templar and co-starring Eliza Dushku and you can now watch on Netflix.
This current project has been in the works at Paramount for a while; even Chris Pratt was rumoured to star at one point. However, with a talent like Fletcher, he has the chance to make it into something promising.
The London based director is one of the best currently working having started his directorial career in 2011’s Wild Bill before turning his hand to Sunshine on Leith in 2013. His big break came in 2015 with the delightful Eddie the Eagle then had to step in to complete Bohemian Rhapsody (after Bryan Singer stepped down) and most recently Rocketman.
The question is when will he be able to do it as it’ll have to be after the filming on the December 2021 scheduled Sherlock Holmes 3 for Warner Bros.
Depending on where Seth Graham-Smith (The LEGO Batman Movie) script is and if Fletcher wants to do any re-writes, the film could begin shooting within months before stepping onto the major WB blockbuster.
While people were stretching their heads, I loved this news as this is something Fletcher could smash if given a similar budget to Rocketman. It could be the beginnings of a franchise and have the heart and entertainment of the Moore series making it Paramount’s The Man from UNCLE.
As for who could play the lead of Templar, I believe this could be ideal for Tom Hiddleston or a James Norton. On the other hand, with Fletcher’s involvement, Taron Egerton will likely be the frontrunner.