He’s Jurassic World‘s dino-whisperer Owen Grady, Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Star-Lord (not Star-Prince!), and soon wealthy adventurer Simon Templar? Highly successful action star Chris Pratt is reportedly in talks to star as the literary character best known as the alias “The Saint” for a rebooted Paramount Pictures action franchise.
According to Deadline, Chris Pratt is in early talks to lead another action film — this time as Robin Hood-esque criminal Simon Templar, previously played by the late James Bond actor Roger Moore in a British ’60s television series, and Val Kilmer in a 1997 film. Simon Templar/The Saint is based on a literary character created in the 1920s by Leslie Charteris. The project by Paramount currently includes producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who has also worked on many action films — including The Meg, Deepwater Horizon, and Transformers: The Last Knight.
If Chris Pratt signs on to the role, the actor will be portraying a classy thief named Simon Templar, who goes by many aliases with the same initials. He’s a snarky character known for his humorous quips and stick-figure “calling card” with a halo over his head. The character is British in the books, and when Roger Moore played him pre-James Bond. But has also been Americanized in Val Kilmer’s role, and in a recent television movie when the character was played by Tyrant‘s Adam Rayner.
Since the project is in the early stages of its development, it’s unclear which direction the upcoming The Saint adaptation will take. To play at Chris Pratt’s strengths, using the goofy and fun elements of its source material seems like the right choice. But many recent action films of its kind tend to take a more serious, gritty approach to action characters. The Saint could also either choose to draw heavily from its source material, which includes a variety of books, or use the name loosely to draw those who have heard of the character.
For Chris Pratt, the Jurassic World franchise is coming to a close — with the third installment arriving in theaters in 2021 — and the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is up-in-the-air due to James Gunn’s firing from the project. Taking on another action franchise is a natural move for Pratt. The Saint looks like a good fit for the actor, as it blends his comedic roots with his star quality.
The Saint isn’t a particularly popular property held by Paramount Pictures, but the studio looks like it wants to move forward with relaunching it into a new franchise. Casting a familiar face such as Chris Pratt’s is key for The Saint, and he’d be one of the few action stars out there who could pull it off. Until we know about The Saint, you can look forward to Chris Pratt’s return as the LEGO Emmet Brickowski in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, which opens in theaters on February 8, 2019.