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RKO enlists scribe for new ‘Saint’

Travis Wright to pen update of durable franchise

RKO Pictures is reviving Simon Templar and “The Saint,” signing Travis Wright (“Eagle Eye”) to pen a script based on the debonair hero with an eye to developing a trilogy with producer Rick Porras.

Projects will be based on remake rights to three of the nine “Saint” films in RKO’s library.

Porras, a co-producer and second unit director on “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, will produce through his Eucalypto films banner with RKO’s Vanessa Coifman.

The Saint, a sort of modern-day Robin Hood, was created by Leslie Charteris and first appeared in the 1928 book “Enter the Tiger.” Known as the Saint because of his initials, Templar’s targets included lowlifes and corrupt politicians; he often left a calling card at his “crimes,” a stick figure of a man with a halo — which served as the logo of the Charteris books, movies, and the 1960s TV series starring Roger Moore.

Movies featuring the Saint began in 1938 with “The Saint in New York,” then “The Saint Strikes Back” and several others. Ian Ogilvy starred in the 1978-79 series “Return of the Saint” and Val Kilmer starred in Paramount’s 1997 version.

RKO, with a legacy dating back to “Citizen Kane” and “King Kong,” is expected to distribute drama “A Late Quartet,” starrring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, and Christopher Walken. Wright and former partner John Glenn wrote drafts for remakes of “Clash of the Titans” at Warner Bros., “Journey to the Center of the Earth” at Fox and “The Warriors” at Paramount. Wright is repped by Benderspink.

Porras is attached to produce the film version of “Here, There Be Dragons.”

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