Showtime is shipping off its buzzy limited series Ripley to Netflix in a sudden deal between the two outfits according to Deadline. Starring Andrew Scott in the lead role of Tom Ripley, the show is based on Patricia Highsmith's beloved series of novels based on the character and is being adapted by The Night Of's Steve Zaillian. The deal has yet to be finalized, though sources say the move materialized rather quickly over the past few days after Netflix engaged Showtime about taking on the show.
Ripley spans eight episodes and primarily tells the same story as The Talented Mr. Ripley novel. Centered on Tom as he grifts his way by in 1960s New York, the series sees a wealthy man request his services to help with his vagabond son, Dickie Greenleaf (Johnny Flynn). Greenleaf is living the trust fund baby expat lifestyle in Italy, but his father wants him to finally return home. With his acceptance of the job, Tom takes his first step down a convoluted path of deceit, fraud, and even murder. Dakota Fanning also stars in the series Marge Sherwood, an American living in Italy who has suspicions about the darker intentions behind Tom's affability. Although packaged as a limited series, Showtime had left room for additional seasons if it was a success.
Selling Ripley is just the latest in Showtime's strategic shift. Since announcing it would rebrand as Paramount+ with Showtime and bring its wealth of content aboard Paramount+, the network has undergone a change in its content strategy. Reportedly, the sale of Ripley only moved forward once it was clear that Showtime was more interested in building TV universes post-merger as indicated by the Billions and Dexter spinoffs announced earlier this week. The cuts since integrating with the streamer have been plentiful as Let the Right One In, American Gigolo, and Three Women with only the latter finding a new home with Starz to this point.
Netflix and Other Streamers Coveted Showtime's Ripley
For potential suitors, Ripley was a buzzy title, drawing fairly widespread interest across the industry. Netflix swooped in early to check in with Showtime as soon as there was an inkling that a sale was possible. Thanks to the popularity of the stature of the Tom Ripley novels, it was practically guaranteed to be a hot package once Showtime shopped it.
The series is currently early in post-production with likely several months left until release. Zaillian wrote and directed the first season of the series which was co-produced by Showtime and Endemol Shine North America in association with Entertainment 360 and Filmrights. He also serves as an executive producer alongside Garrett Basch, Guymon Casady, Ben Forkner, Sharon Levy, and Philipp Keel of Diogenes. In addition to leading the cast, Scott also produces.
Ripley is still eyeing a late 2023/early 2024 release on Netflix. In the meantime, check out the trailer for the 1999 adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley below.