chris pine the saint

Chris Pine may have found his next starring role – and hopefully it will require plenty of goofy accents.

He’ll lead Paramount’s remake/reboot of The Saint, a spy thriller about a literary character named Simon Templar, a master of disguise who serves as a Robin Hood-type figure who robs corrupt politicians or evil rich people and redistributes their ill-gotten wealth to those in need. Dexter Fletcher (Rocketman) is set to direct.

The Saint was a big deal in the 1960s; Roger Moore played the title role in a TV show years before he would take on the mantle of James Bond. Back in 2018, Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) was reportedly in talks to star in this new movie version, taking the baton from Val Kilmer, who starred in Paramount’s 1997 film adaptation of author Leslie Charteris’s stories. But now Variety says Chris Pine is in negotiations to star instead, and Pine strikes me as a much better fit for the character of Simon Templar.

While Pratt has a background in playing a lovable comedic goofball, Pine has less of that devil-may-care Han Solo smirk attitude and more style and charisma, which should align well with a character who infiltrates the upper crust of society in order to fleece them. Plus, he’s already proven his ability to fully disappear into roles in a way Pratt hasn’t yet: go watch Pine’s lunatic performance in Joe Carnahan’s underseen indie film Stretch, or his work in the Wet Hot American Summer Netflix seasons, and you’ll see what I mean.

The Saint’s motivations and skillsets have shifted with the times: at various points he’s been a thief, a con man, a WWII secret agent, and sort of an all-purpose adventurer. Perhaps we’ll see him garner some new skills that are fitting to whatever adventure he’s undertaking in this era. Seth Grahame-Smith, who previously wrote The LEGO Batman Movie, Dark Shadows, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, wrote the screenplay. Lorenzo Di Bonaventura (Transformers, G.I. Joe) is producing with Brad Krevoy (Dumb and Dumber, The Princess Switch), and the late Robert Evans (Chinatown, Marathon Man), who served as a producer on the original film and died in 2019, will receive producer credit as well.

It’s unclear when The Saint will start filming, since the coronavirus pandemic has put Hollywood productions on pause. But Variety says that Pine’s commitment likely means this will be the next project for Dexter Fletcher, who is also attached to direct Sherlock Holmes 3 and a Dracula-adjacent movie called Renfield.

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