James Purefoy to play The Saint
British actor James Purefoy is to star in an American remake of the 1960s ITC series The Saint.
The actor, perhaps best known for his role of Mark Anthony in HBO’s drama series Rome, is to become the latest actor to portray the international spy. The actor revealed his role in the new American version of The Saint in an introduction for a new book, The Saint on TV. In the book Purefoy says “If all goes to plan, this summer I will be in New Orleans filming a production called The Saint In New Orleans. I can’t wait to make mischief.”
The original ITC series ran between 1962 and 1969 starring Roger Moore – later to become James Bond in the films – and ran for 118 episodes. The adventure spy series was a huge hit and came at the same time as a string of other ITC shows with an adventure action feel such as The Champions, The Avengers and Randal & Hopkirk (Deceased) which is being remade for American television by Syfy.
In 1978 the series was revived as The Return of the Saint with Ian Ogilvy in the title. As with the revival of The Avengers (as The New Avengers) the revival didn’t last run with just 24 episodes produced. In 1997 a film version was produced starring Val Kilmer.
While Roger Moore played Bond actors Ian Ogilvy and James Purefoy were both considered for the role by producers. Ogilvy in the 1980s and Purefoy in the 1990s.