The Saint Thread (Again)


#21

If I could find a way to include the halo and not make it cheesy then yes I’d include everything. Break the fourth wall, give the Saint a garage of cars that included the Volvo, an XJ-S, a Jensen, something close to a Hirondel and what ever keeps the sponsor happy, each of which got taken for a drive occasionally.

To be honest for me a period show would write itself, a present day show would also not be that hard to put together.

Having said that, there’s a reason I’m writing books… :wink:


#23

Let’s say ‘could maybe possibly, if things turn out eventually…’


#24

Well, Pratt is watching Guardians crash in slo-mo and Ford recently stated that Indy 5 will not involve Pratt. So it’s timely that Paramount are suddenly bandying his name around. It suits both parties.


#25

Chris Pratt is hugely talented and always fun to watch, but as The Saint? I can’t see it.

Maybe Paramount is planning the same approach as the M:I franchise: keep the title and music (and in this case maybe the stickman logo) and toss the rest out the window?


#26

I agree. What an utterly terrible choice.

I really like The Saint. I really like Chris Pratt. I hate the idea that they’ll put Pratt in a new The Saint movie because:

  1. He’s not British. And yes, the Val Kilmer casting was a very poor choice also.
  2. They’re likely going for a very comedic take. Roger Moore did di a bit of comedy in the original series but it was relatively serious overall. Or rather, it took itself seriously. With Pratt in the role I assume they’ll want to ‘the man from uncle’ it up a bit. Potentially even the parody route…
  3. Also as much as I like Pratt, I thought his recent performances in Guardians 2 and Jurassic World were quite awful. It’s a shame as I thought he was pretty good in Guardians 1 and Jurassic World 1.
  4. I guess he could do a British accent but…why not just cast an actual Brit?

Maybe i’m wrong. Maybe in a few years i’ll look back in this post and wonder why I doubted this production.

But…i’m probably not.


#28

I agree - I love Chris Pratt. But they should look at British actors with a certain elegance. That is not Pratt´s strong suit at all.

Also: Disney, fix the “Guardians”-problem pronto!


#29

What does it matter whether it succeeds if it’s nothing to do with Charteris’ character? I mean I guess it matters to the studio, who only care about box office, but for Saint fans it would hardly be a “success” for a film to be a blockbuster while having nothing to do with the real Simon Templar.

Again, it’s like Mission:Impossible. As a fan of good action films, the last few entries have been rewarding, but as a fan of the original TV show I have nothing to celebrate.


#30

The Saint maybe just doesn’t fit into the current climate as good as he used to in the past. Everything’s got to be either gritty and action-packed or an easygoing comedy and we’ve lost a bit of that middle ground that was reserved for irony in the days of Moore. The Saint is at the heart of it old fashioned, belonging to a different age. Update Templar too much and you lose the crucial core.*

And that’s not even a question of doing a modern or period adaptation. As seen with Sherlock Holmes, you can turn even a Victorian detective into a CGI action hero. From Paramount’s perspective, this would probably count as the biggest success they could hope for.

*Other major heroes of yesteryear have a similar hard time in our day and age. Travis McGee seems to entirely refuse to leave the pages of MacDonald. And how can it be that Modesty Blaise, right now, isn’t already three films into a blockbuster adventure series? Because both these characters, and many of their contemporaries, don’t lend themselves easily for the mixture that’s en vogue on the big screen. Maybe in a few years. Or never.


#31

All good points. The real question is why would a studio bother optioning a property as “old news” as The Saint? Outside of this board and whatever boards are out there for Charteris fans, does anyone even still read these books? Unlike superheroes or video game characters, Templar can’t have much of a “ready-made fan base.”

For the last 30 years I haven’t seen a single Saint adventure on a bookstore shelf ( excluding vintage editions in second-hand shops). Whatever that does or doesn’t say about how “marketable” the character is, it does mean there’s been no material out there to draw in new readers for at least a generation. Sure if you already know about the Saint, you can find his adventures with some effort, but there’s no chance of “discovering” him by accident while looking for a beach read.

I’m not even convinced most people remember Roger’s version. At this point, Saint fans are an aging lot, and even when Roger updated him for the Swinging 60s the character already had whiskers. It seems to me trying to market a character that unknown would be like starting from scratch with a new character created just for, and owned completely by, a studio. So why not just do that?

If rather see a Netflix-level TV series, or string of TV movies, than a Hollywood blockbuster. On TV, there would be less risk involved in staying faithful to Charteris, and more chance the character would be discovered by new audiences and appreciated in something closer to its true form. A big screen effort is guaranteed to change everything as a basic rule of Blockbuster-Making 101, which means if it succeeds, we’ve gained nothing and if it fails, the Saint slips further into cultural obscurity as the bean-counters conclude the fault is in the property, not the approach.


#32

“Mission Impossible got good reviews, have we got another one of those?”

“there’s this series that had James Bond in it”

Will have been the length of the initial discussion I cynically suspect.


#33

Indeed, good observation. Buying rights to turn characters into franchises is at least questionable when the result is in no way connected to the source material any more. And if the - meagre - fanbase turns out to be not just few in number but also beyond a certain age they can hardly even be the target audience any more.

The ill-fated Dirk Pitt adaptation of a few years ago should serve as a most illuminating example: even a character with near-constant fresh material on the shelves for decades and with a solid fanbase of readers failed to attract the necessary audiences, in spite of stars and budget and a character DNA that lends itself easily to the action genre that’s the rage at the box office.


#34

I just think there are at least 3 possible unattractive outcomes for attaching the Saint trademark to a movie:

  1. Devotees show up but there are only a few of them anyway, and the name has no drawing power for anyone else

  2. Devotees figure out from previews and on-set reports that the movie is changing key elements of the dharacter, so they stay at home along with all the people who don’t even know what the Saint is.

  3. The movie turns out to be a success, but after all the expense incurred in a publicity campaign to explain just who and what The Saint concept is even about (which you would’ve had to do with a brand new character anyway), you now have to split the profits with the trademark holder, who added nothing.


#35

As far as I can see, Paramount already owned the film rights (took a surprisingly long time to find that). Possibly why they chose to adapt it. The books (with first being 1920’s) is probably in public domain in some countries (like James Bond is in Canada)


#37

There you go - that Starts the clock for 95 years as I recall.


#38

…many of them no doubt spent in development…


#39

In 94 years a film will come out, just to refresh the licence.


#40

Sooner or later something is likely to come out. But there’s that Dirk Pitt vehicle that tanked. Or, taking another example from the heyday of the spy craze, Matt Helm. Or Modesty Blaise.

Trouble is, studios are awfully good throwing money at productions - but doing so they often enough haven’t a clear idea why their property is successful in another medium and how to translate that success. Bond and the Marvel films are actually the exception not the rule. And in Marvel’s case the source material comes from a visual medium and the characters relate to our times because we’ve actually adopted a considerable chunk of that comic book spirit into our paradigm.

We’ll see how much Paramount will be investing and how close or far off the mark the finished product will turn out to be. Let’s hope for the best.


#41

Not to mention it’s lead producer working, in some capacity, on all other Marvel films produced at other studios for a decade beforehand. Even then, it hasn’t been perfectly smooth sailing critically and financially. Sheer luck that bad reviews and low audience turn out hasn’t happened at the same time (The Incredible Hulk with “meh, it’s ok” in both categories is the closest)

Regarding Paramount as a studio home, given it was 15 years and 4 films before they got Mission Impossible down, and they where the first to give the MCU experiment a try, they could do this right if they let it breath as a project. I just HOPE they don’t take Warner’s tact of believing their own marketing (the clearly moronic ideal they’ve had in the last 5 years or so of any less than a billion in profit or a record breaking opening weekend means it’s a box office BOMB :roll_eyes:)

I’m not holding my breath though…


#42

With a 94-year development window, maybe Craig would find the role appealing.


#43

Let’s not help spread the false notion that Craig is to blame for the long gaps rather than MGM being surprised by their financial woes every other film…

We can blame Chris Pratt for long gaps between Saint films when Paramount wack the breaks on because they don’t get a billion in profit in a day…