Dec 10, 2012

Tradecraft: Eliza Dushku Joins the new Saint

This latest version of The Saint (first reported last week) looks very much like it will actually happen! (If I sound surprised, it's because of all the false starts over the last half decade.) Things are shaping up quickly. Today, Deadline reports that Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse, True Lies) has been cast opposite Hunted's Adam Rayner (who's playing Simon Templar) as the Saint's on-and-off girlfriend, Patricia Holm. Holm was a regular character in Leslie Charteris' books, but I don't think she ever made it to the small screen before. (Though she did appear in one of the RKO Saint movies in the Forties, The Saint Meets the Tiger.) I always pictured the books' Patricia Holm as British, although I can't recall if Charteris ever explicitly stated that was the case. Either way, I think Dushku is a great choice who will easily embody her spirit of adventure. Hopefully she's got good chemistry with Rayner! The trade blog also reveals more of the names involved behind the scenes that we heard last week... and some of those names will be mighty familiar to Saint fans! In addition to Brad Krevoy, Sir Roger Moore himself will be a co-producer, along with his son, Geoffrey Moore, Lulu Moore and Luisa Macdonald. As most fans have known all along, Saint expert Ian Dickerson (who wrote The Saint on TV) will serve as a creative concultant, ensuring that this version will likely hew closer to Charteris' books than any other before it. Dickerson has continuously kept fans updated on the progress (or, more often than not, lack thereof) of a Saint revival on the CBn forums for years. As previously reported, Simon West will direct the backdoor pilot (meaning it's not yet set up as a series at a network), which starts shooting this Friday(!) in Los Angeles, Toronto and London. Alias veteran Jesse Alexander penned the script.

4 comments:

teeritz said...

This sounds promising. I didn't mind the Val Kilmer movie from the '90s, even though it strayed from the Saint mythology. Hopefully, this new version will be closer to the Roger Moore series from the Sixties.
Nice work.

Tanner said...

The Roger Moore version and the Ian Ogilvy version are my favorites so far, though I enjoy pretty much every incarnation of The Saint to date on some level... except the Kilmer one, I'm afraid! But I should revisit that. Perhaps I'll like it more now. I haven't seen it since it came out. I'm very excited for this one though!

Quiller said...

I seem to recall reading that the "origin story" depicted in the Kilmer film was based on material Leslie Charteris had worked up but never used, but don't quote me on that. The Kilmer film was my first real encounter with the character, and while I much prefer the Roger Moore version, I did get some mild enjoyment from the film. The notion of Simon Templar being a master of disguise who used Catholic saints' names as his aliases seemed so clever that it could have been the character's M.O. from the beginning. The biggest problem with the movie was that it OD'd on '90s angst, which was totally unnecessary.

We'll have to see how this new version works out; hopefully it'll provide a lighthearted alternative to the "dark," "edgy" stuff that seems to be all the rage these days. Personally, I'm intrigued by the fact that Dushku's first major role was as Arnold Schwarzenegger's daughter in True Lies -- and now here she is joining another classic quasi-spy franchise.

Hoppy Uniatz said...

Quiller...I know you said don't quote you but let me kill that idea stone dead. There was absolutely nothing in the 1997 film that had its origin in anything written by Leslie Charteris. That was why we got Leslie's name taken off the credits.

And there is definitely humor in the script...