ITV to resurrect classic TV drama The Saint

Writer Ed Whitmore hopes to have the script for a remake of the classic Roger Moore drama finished and ready for filming in 2016

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The Saint – otherwise known as the Saville Row-clad righter-of-wrongs Simon Templar – is to be reborn.

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An ITV pilot will revive the scourge of international bad guys, originally invented by Leslie Charteris and played from 1962 to 1969 by Roger Moore before he became James Bond.

In fact, the pilot episode should be ready to film next year, says Ed Whitmore who is writing the new drama with Chris Lunt – the writer behind the John Simm drama Prey.

The character of Templar – best know for leaving a calling card of a stick figure of a man with a halo at the scene of his “crimes” – was hugely popular in his day, and Whitmore tells RadioTimes.com that the time is ripe for a modern-day re-imagining.

“There is a post-Breaking Bad appetite for morally grey characters,” says Whitmore, who’s also penned the upcoming ITV serial Arthur & George based on Julian Barnes’ book about a real-life case involving Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

“Simon Templar is a kind of Robin Hood figure, he’s timeless,” he adds.

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But Whitmore says he’s still not sure who should play our buccaneering hero. If only we had a few well spoken and good-looking actors in Britain, eh?