Showtime has ordered the show straight to an eight-episode series after a pitch from Oscar-winning writer Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List). Zaillian will write and direct each episode of the entire first season.
“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,” Showtime president of entertainment Gary Levine said in a statement. “With Andrew Scott, whose charisma knows no bounds, inhabiting the iconic lead role, we feel confident that this will be a special one.”
The Tom Ripley has gained a large cult following since his debut in The Talented Mr. Ripley in 1955. That novel also had the big-screen treatment in 1999 in a film version starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law. As in Highsmith’s novels, Ripley is portrayed as a con artist and serial killer, though also an anti-hero of sorts.
Ireland native Scott has amassed a sizable following for his roles on Sherlock as Jim Moriarty and Fleabag as Hot Priest. The openly gay actor will next appear in the series His Dark Materials for HBO later this year.