Regé-Jean Page looks to have landed his next lead role, as Simon Templar in a re-imagined The Saint
According to multiple sources, Regé-Jean Page will play the so-called Robin Hood of modern crime, Simon Templar in a new film of The Saint, to be directed by Dexter Fletcher.While many had tipped Page as the next James Bond, there is a strong connection between Templar and Bond (there’s a name for a TV show if you need one!), as we’ll explain.
Who is Simon Templar (aka The Saint?)
Born in Singapore in 1907, Leslie Charteris (he changed his surname after arriving in England), wrote his first book while still an undergraduate at Kings College, Cambridge. His third book, Meet the Tiger introduced the character, but Charteris was only happy with his creation after the next book. Enter the Saint. He moved to the US at one stage, working for Paramount (who are now making this new film), but had to move back as a consequence of being mixed-race.
He wrote dozens of Simon Templar stories over several decades, often as collections of short stories. He even invented a universal written sign-language (Paleneo).
What’s the James Bond connection?
In 1962, Roger Moore took on the role for ITV, the series being a huge success and running from 1962-69, and repeated many times since. Moore, of course, later went on to play James Bond for several films.
Overall Simon Templar has appeared in dozens of films, several TV shows and stage plays. Paramount themselves released a 1997 film The Saint starring Val Kilmer.
Apart from the headline, we don’t yet know a lot about this new version of The Saint. We’ll keep you posted! There are a few Leslie Charteris / The Saint resources on the web, but the most obvious seem to be in need of a little upkeep. There is an active Twitter feed, The Saint Club (@thesaintclub).