EXCLUSIVE: Buffy The Vampire Slayer alumna Eliza Dushku is set to co-star opposite Adam Rayner in The Saint, a backdoor pilot from Brad Krevoy’s film and TV production company MPCA. No network has been attached. Simon West is directing the pilot from a script by Jesse Alexander. Alexander is set as showrunner of the project, a new take on Leslie Charteris’ The Saint 70-book franchise. It will follow the exploits of Simon Templar (Rayner), a brilliant criminal who uses his considerable illicit skills as a modern-day Robin Hood as he infuriates local law enforcement and woos Patricia Holm (Dushku), his on-again, off-again romance.

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Roger Moore, who played Templar in Lew Grade’s popular 1962 Saint British TV series, has joined as a co-producer along with with his son Geoffrey Moore, Lulu Moore, and Louisa Macdonald. Author Ian Dickerson, an expert on the history of Charteris’ creation, will serve as a creative consultant. Krevoy, Alexander, and Roman Viaris will executive produce and have teamed with Silverscreen Pictures in Los Angeles and Canadian producer Fred Fuchs to start production on Friday in Los Angeles, Toronto, and London. The backdoor pilot is being cast by Mandy Sherman and Sari Knight of Sherman/Knight casting (Lost). MPCA’s TV division is backing the project through independent financing, with the company’s Francisco J. González handling international sales and Michael MacDermott handling product placement. The Saint has been adapted to 15 feature films, most recently in 1997 by Paramount with Val Kilmer in the lead.

Dushku, who also toplined the cult Fox drama Dollhouse, is repped by The Collective, UTA and attorney Ryan Levine. The Saint is repped by CAA, the Charteris estate is repped by attorney David Wardlow.