While Bridgerton fans are still mourning the news that Rege-Jean Page will not be back for the period drama's second season, it looks like he has already landed his next big role: taking over the role of Simon Templar in a new reimaging of The Saint. Previously best known as a Roger Moore starring series of the 1960s, a movie version released in 1997 saw Val Kilmer in the lead role, and another reboot film made its way to Netflix in 2017. While neither movie fared as well as the series, this new version looks like it could be going back all the way to the source material for inspiration.
The book series of The Saint was written by Leslie Charteris and released between the 1920s and 1990s (the latter books being written by numerous other authors) that told stories of a Robin Hood style criminal and thief for hire known as The Saint. There were around 15 novels released in the series, as well as numerous short stories in collections and magazine publications. Whether the new take will draw its plot from one of the original novels is unknown, but it had been said it will bring a complete new slant to the character and his world - something that usually ends up really splitting a fan base.
Page has become something of a staple for Paramount recently, having followed his Emmy nominated role in Bridgerton with being cast alongside Chris Pine in the new Dungeons and Dragons movie. When he announced that he would not be returning for the new season of Bridgerton, Paramount were quick to find him a new project, and it appears that the actor really wanted to tackle The Saint. In addition to these upcoming projects, Regé-Jean Page has also just finished filming The Gray Man for Netflix, in which he appears with Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling.
The Saint first appeared outside of the book series in a series of movies in the 1930s and also in a radio series that featured, among others, Vincent Price as Templar.The Saint's most notable iteration came in 1962, towards the end of the run of original novels that were written by Charteris, in a British made TV series starring Roger Moore that aired until 1969. Other series, such as 1978's Return of The Saint starring Ian Ogilvy, came and went without much fanfare and while there have been numerous attempts to restart the series, none of them have made it beyond a pilot episode.
In 1997, Val Kilmer stepped into a different version of the role of a high tech thief who sometimes referred to himself as "Simon Templar" and also hid under the names of various saints as he carried out industrial theft and espionage. The movie was financially a success, but it was a very loose version of the character and bore only a passing resemblance to his previous outings. In 2012, another attempt was made to bring back The Saint as a TV series, this time starring Adam Rayner in the lead role alongside Eliza Dushku. Produced by Roger Moore, the pilot was made but never picked up and it eventually became a TV movie in 2017.
How the Page makes the role his own is something that we will have to wait a while yet to see, but with so many failed attempts in the past, he doesn't have a great legacy to live up to. This news arrives from Deadline.