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As with many already established properties, The Saint is now primed for a(nother) reboot. This time, though, the plan is to do more than hit it and quit it with the idea. Like many one shot films with potential for more installments, the filmmakers hoping to bring The Saint back to the big screen are looking to build a franchise out of it.
According to Deadline, Paramount has just secured the rights to the book series that was the basis for the 1997 movie that starred Val Kilmer and Elisabeth Shue. The studio is currently in the process of working out production deals, but it seems likely, at this point, that Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Brad Krevoy and Robert Evans will be among those to produce the film to (hopeful) franchise success. Producer di Bonaventura is best known for his work on the Transformers films, while Krevoy worked on Dumb and Dumber and its 2014 sequel. Evans produced such classics as Chinatown, The Godfather, Urban Cowboy and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (Ok, I'm kidding about the "classic" part there, but he really did produce it), as well as Kilmer's version of The Saint.
The book series The Saint, by Leslie Charteris, ran from 1928 through 1963, with other authors collaborating with him on books until 1983 and two additional works written without Charteris's participation, published in 1997. The series focused on Simon Templar, a Robin Hood-like criminal who is nicknamed The Saint. Cool, debonair and with a boyish sense of humor, he targets corrupt politicians, warmongers, white slavers, drug runners and other evil-doers. In the books, Simon isn't afraid to ruin the lives of his victims, or even kill them if he thinks those deaths will save innocent lives. At the scene of each of his crimes, he leaves a calling card with a stick figure of a man wearing a halo, and that image has always been the logo used for all versions of the stories.
And, those versions of The Saint are many. Several radio dramas based on The Saint were produced in the U.S., Ireland and Britain from 1940 through 1995. The first film version, The Saint in New York, came out in 1938, with seven more movies following in quick succession. A popular TV series was produced from 1962 until 1969, with future James Bond, Roger Moore, in the lead role. There have been several other attempts to reboot the property either for film or TV, but aside from the 1997 movie, none of those have been able to get off the ground.
Considering the success of films like the Bourne franchise, and the modern threats of terrorism, drug dealing and political corruption, it seems like the time might be right for The Saint to make another appearance. We'll keep you up to date on all the reboot news as information becomes available.