After playing the Hot Priest on newly-crowned Emmy winner Fleabag, Irish actor Andrew Scott is set to star in a new Talented Mr. Ripley TV series from Oscar winner Steve Zaillian and Showtime, Collider has learned.
Showtime has ordered the first eight-episode season of the ongoing drama series Ripley, based on Patricia Highsmith’s bestselling quintet of Tom Ripley novels. BAFTA Award winner Scott, who also played Moriarty on Sherlock, will star in the title role. Zaillian will write and direct the entire first season as well as executive produce alongside Garrett Basch, Guymon Casady, Ben Forkner, Sharon Levy and Philipp Keel of Diogenes.
Scott will also serve as a producer on the series, which follows Tom Ripley, a grifter scraping by in early 1960s New York who is hired by a wealthy man to travel to Italy and try to convince his vagabond son to return home. Tom’s acceptance of the job is the first step into a complex life of deceit, fraud and murder.
“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,” said network president Gary Levine. “With Andrew Scott, whose charisma knows no bounds, inhabiting the iconic lead role, we feel confident that this will be a special one.”
The character was previously played by Matt Damon in the 1999 movie The Talented Mr. Ripley, though sources stress that Showtime’s Ripley series is a wholly original endeavor based on Highsmith’s books rather than a remake or reboot of the Ripley feature films, which also include 1960’s Purple Noon starring Alain Delon, 1977’s The American Friend starring Dennis Hopper, 2002’s Ripley’s Game starring John Malkovich, and 2005’s Ripley Under Ground starring Barry Pepper.
In addition to Fleabag and Sherlock, Scott’s credits include His Dark Materials and John Adams for HBO, the Black Mirror episode Smithereens, and the TV movies King Lear and Hamlet. On the big screen, Scott has starred in the James Bond movie Spectre, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland sequel, and the Brendan Higgins-scripted indie thriller A Dark Place. Scott is represented by CAA, and by United Agents in the UK.
Zaillian won an Oscar for writing Schindler’s List, and also earned Oscar nominations for Moneyball, Gangs of New York and Awakenings. He also earned a pair of Emmy nominations for writing and directing HBO’s acclaimed limited series The Night Of. The Ripley series is co-produced by Showtime and Endemol Shine North America in association with Entertainment 360 and Zaillian’s Film Rites banner.