I’ve written at length about my admiration for Andrew Scott. Whether it’s his turn as Moriarty in BBC’s Sherlock, a psychotic London cabbie in the Black Mirror episode Smithereens, or as Hot Priest in series 2 of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Emmy-winning Fleabag, his roles have always allowed him to explore the creative potential of his characters. Now, he’s set to star as the lead role of Ripley in a TV adaptation of the The Talented Mr Ripley .
The adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel of the same name follows the story of identity fraudster, conman and eventual serial killer Tom Ripley. Although her first novel was published in 1955, the plot remains essentially a classic espionage-thriller relevant to any generation. Fitting within the bounds of the superbly popular Sherlock, there’s no doubt there will be a few fans crossing over into the new series.
The previous two films in the franchise, you might remember, were released within just three years of each other. Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr Ripley (1999) starred Matt Damon as Tom Ripley, and featured a bunch of fresh-faced fledgling stars including Jude Law, Cate Blanchett and Gwyneth Platrow. It’s become a bit of a classic and is known for its glamorous image and dark turns.
On the other end of the spectrum, meanwhile…we have Lililana Cavani’s Ripley’s Game (2002). Let’s be honest, it’s aged horribly and doesn’t bear thinking about, but if you like you can check out the trailer and see what I mean.
I have to say, I think Scott fits perfectly for the role of the titular anti-hero in the upcoming series remake, supervised and directed by Steven Zaillian (The Night Of). Zaillian will be using material from Highsmith’s first five books: The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, Ripley’s Game, The Boy Who Followed Ripley and Ripley Underwater.
Gary Levine, President of Entertainment at Showtime Networks, said in a statement:
“We are so thrilled to have the supremely talented filmmaker, Steve Zaillian, adapt the singular saga of Tom Ripley from Patricia Highsmith’s novels as an ongoing series for Showtime. With Andrew Scott, whose charisma knows no bounds, inhabiting the iconic lead role, we feel confident that this will be a special one.”
As much as fans might hope for it, it doesn’t look like there’ll be a series 3 of Fleabag in the works, so no return of the Hot Priest just yet. But joining the team for Ripley, Scott can always direct his energies into an equally promising TV project with a great production team. With a BAFTA for Sherlock and a BFI award for the 2014 film Pride, there’s no doubt of Scott’s capabilities and it looks like this will be a newsworthy collaboration with Zaillian. We don’t yet have details of a production schedule or release date, but with big talent secured as the lead, it’s likely Ripley will be off the ground soon.
Andrew Scott announced to lead Talented Mr Ripley TV series [Den of Geek]