Normally when a studio says that they’re going to” reimagine” a well-known character it’s just inviting a disaster. Hollywood is so locked in to formulate Scripts that simply don’t work anymore or have been rehashed again and again that they have become beyond boring. To make matters more perilous for a character like Simon Templer and the saint, no actor has ever actually done Justice to the Leslie Charteris character in the books who is so much more expansive, curious, joyful, exuberant, and adventurous. just for once we’d like to see a studio follow the Leslie Charteris vision and bring us the amazing Simon Templar that leaps off the pages of his books.
But not so fast! The choice of Regé-Jean Page, Of Bridgerton fame, could quite possibly spell the successful combination because he is a multifaceted Talent that brings not only charm and substance to the roles that he has played, but is also be an accomplished playwright on his own and may have much to say about how the character of Simon Templer is Rewritten and portrayed in the film as he is one of the executive producers.
According to Deadline, Paramount has brought on “Lorenzo DiBonaventura, Brad Krevoy, and Mark Vahradian will produce, with Kwame Kwei-Armah penning the script. The late Robert Evans, who produced Paramount’s 1997 movie adaption starring Val Kilmer, will also get a producer credit.” (See Deadline).
The fact that Page is also one of the Executive Producers also is a great indication that this project is going to happen in time and space, And it is no mistake that this native Londoner has chosen this film as his major breakout lead role after Bridheerton’s success.
Roger Moore, who for many people is defined by his time as James Bond, is really, up to this point the definitive Simon Templer so far – but not even more was able to pull off the multifaceted character that Leslie Charteris penned in his massive production of novels, short stories, comic books, and radio plays.
Every film attempt thus far has managed to get some aspect of Simon Templer correct, but botch whole other areas completely. Val Kilmer ( 1997) Managed to nail down Templar’s ability to use disguises and to evade Danger in tight situations, but he utterly missed the boat when it came to the Joy de vivre that Simon Templer embodies indirectly tackling what he calls
the ungodly .” Charter assist Templar is drawn to Adventures like a moth to a flame, well Kilmer seemed to need some heavy money angle to be at all interested. this is to miss the point entirely.
But back to Page, who is the real story here? not only is Templar as a written character far more interesting than Fleming’s Bond, but it’s going to take a great actor to flesh that out. there was a great deal of talk about Idris Elba Becoming the new Bond, which didn’t work out either for Elba or the studio, but Page is young enough that if he can knock this out of the park it could lead to a substantial series of films.
And I like the fact that he’s a writer himself who will bring both an inherent respect for the original writing that Charterist did but will also be looking for new ways of presentation.
No one may ever be able to pull off the character of Simon Templar (and if you have read the Fleming Bond novels you know that the film characters are thin cardboard cut-outs by comparison).
I think if Paage is going to pull this off he (and the script) are going to have to pull off two things at once: the physicality of Elba in Luther, and the sheer brains and planning that Omar Sy exhibits in Lupin.
But if they botch it – people will NEVER stop reading the books- they are timeless. The Saint will always be back….