EXCLUSIVE: The last time I wrote about The Saint, Mace Neufeld, Bill McDonald, Robert Evans, and David Brown were producing it with Val Kilmer. As we know in Hollywood, everything old is new (re-imagined, remade, revamped, rebooted) again and so it goes with the espionage thriller The Saint, for which Paramount has just secured the book series rights. Producing deals are being closed now, but it’s likely that Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Brad Krevoy and Robert Evans will be among the producers in hopes of launching another action franchise at the studio.
Based on the original series of books that ran from 1928 to 1963 from Leslie Charteris, The Saint is the story of Simon Templar, a smart, quick-witted man who went after the scourges of the Earth — corrupt politicians, war profiteers, drug runners — to benefit his country and the greater good. It hatched a popular TV series in the U.K. and in the U.S.
If the deal makes, the studio may have another franchise in development as the character itself seems ripe for a re-do in a modern age of terrorism and corruption in the political ranks. di Bonaventura, of course, helped to launch the lucrative Transformers franchise for the studio and, of course, everyone knows Evans as the studio executive on The Godfather. Stay tuned.