Another day, another reboot. Paramount Pictures has had its sights set on a new iteration of The Saint for some time now, and things are finally moving forward. It's been revealed that the studio has locked down director Dexter Fletcher, who most recently helmed last year's Elton John biopic Rocketman, to helm the reboot. If all goes according to plan, this could be the start of a new franchise. But let's not get too ahead of ourselves.
According to a new report, Dexter Fletcher has been tapped to direct The Saint. The script was penned by Seth Grahame-Smith (Dark Shadows, The LEGO Batman Movie). Grahame-Smith was also, it's worth noting, at one point on board to direct The Flash for Warner Bros. Paramount was behind Rocketman, which went on to become a critical and commercial success. With that, they decided to team back up with Fletcher for this hopeful franchise starter, which centers on a character, not unlike Robin Hood, who is a criminal for hire.
The Saint is based on a series of novels, originally published in the 1920s, by author Leslie Charteris. The books were previously adapted into a popular British TV show in the 60s, which ran for six seasons and more than 100 episodes. Paramount also produced a movie adaptation, which hit theaters in 1997 and starred Val Kilmer in the lead role as Simon Templar. Directed by Phillip Noyce, the movie was a relatively modest success, grossing $169 million at the box office, but it failed to start a franchise at the time like the studio had hoped. It seems they're ready to give it another go.
The previous movie centers on international thief Simon Templar (Val Kilmer), who is hired by a wealthy Russian oilman named Ivan Tretiak (Rade Serbedzija) to steal a cold fusion formula. Templar tracks down scientist Dr. Emma Russell (Elisabeth Shue), seduces her and steals the information, but the formula was incomplete, which leads to Tretiak wanting to kill Templar and kidnap Russell. The question now becomes, who will be tapped to play Simon Templar this time around? Dexter Fletcher and Taron Egerton have a great working relationship, thanks to Rocketman and Eddie the Eagle. And Egerton can certainly pull this sort of thing off, which we know thanks to The Kingsman movies.
Dexter Fletcher, meanwhile, is keeping quite busy. He stepped in to finish Bohemian Rhapsody after Bryan Singer was fired, and the movie went on to become a huge hit. Hollywood took notice. Fletcher is also on deck to direct the long-gestating Sherlock Homes 3 as well. It's not clear which project will move ahead first, but Sherlock Holmes 3 seems further along and has a release date set, so that seems more likely. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via Variety.