Back in 1999, the film The Talented Mr. Ripley, based on the novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith, was released. Starring Matt Damon in the title role, alongside Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Philip Seymour Hoffman, it was a huge hit. It was even nominated for five Academy Awards that year, and grossed $128 million worldwide.
Now it looks like Netflix has adapted the story as an eight-episode limited series titled Ripley. Irish actor Andrew Scott plays Tom Ripley, a con man. Set in the 1960s, the story opens with Ripley just barely getting by in New York before he is “hired by a wealthy man to travel to Italy to 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.”
As Tom befriends Dickie, he gets a taste of the man’s lavish lifestyle, and it’s a taste he greatly enjoys. Eventually, Dickie and his girlfriend start to get suspicious, and Tom has to take drastic measures to avoid being found out.
In addition to Andrew Scott, the series features Johnny Flynn as Dickie Greenleaf, the playboy Ripley has been hired to track down and Dakota Fanning as Dickie’s girlfriend Marge Sherwood. It also stars Eliot Sumner, John Malkovich, Maurizio Lombardi, Kenneth Lonergan, Margherita Buy and Ann Cusack.
Originally, Ripley was slated to stream on Showtime, but perhaps due to Showtime’s planned merger with Paramount+, it ended up being shopped around until Netflix picked it up. It remains to be seen how closely the story will align with The Talented Mr. Ripley. With that film sporting a 139-minute run time, the eight episode series certainly has more time to tell its tale.
In an interesting artistic choice, Ripley is presented entirely in black and white, which will definitely fit in with the time period it is set in. The series will be available to stream on Netflix beginning on April 4.