One of Matt Damon’s star-making roles may be coming to television. The Talented Mr. Ripley, based on the 1955 thriller novel series by Patricia Highsmith, is on its way to being adapted into a television series by Steve Zaillian, as reported in a Deadline Exclusive.
The Highsmith novels chronicle stories about a devastatingly charming young man, Ripley, who is a master at deception and seduction and is able to con his way into gaining a foothold into a life of luxury. However, every time that life is threatened, the character escalates his actions from deception to conventional murder. The novels have been highly acclaimed, being nominated for and winning many prestigious awards.
The film adaptation of one of Highsmith’s novels was just as well received. The 1999 movie, The Talented Mr. Ripley saw Matt Damon in the titular role, which landed him one of his earliest, critically well-received performances. The movie featured Ripley (Damon) being hired to retrieve a young and wealthy man named Dickie (Jude Law) to be brought home to his family from Italy. Ripley uses this opportunity to ingratiate himself with Dickie, becoming a part of his life and luxuries, and eventually going down a dark road of murder, mystery, and deception. The film, directed by Anthony Minghella was a critical success, currently holding 83% at the review aggregator, Rotten Tomatoes.
Deadline now confirms that Highsmith’s novels featuring the character of Ripley, of which there are 5, will be adapted by Steve Zaillian into a TV show. The creator of The Night Of will be writing and directing the series, as he did with the critically acclaimed HBO series starring Riz Ahmed. Zaillian is also known for writing the screenplays of critically acclaimed films such as Schindler’s List, Gangs Of New York, All The King’s Men and many more. Deadline reports that the writer-director will be using the novels to track the progression of the lead character from a con man to a serial killer. This wouldn’t be the first time that a serial killer is featured as the lead of a TV series, as Showtime’s Dexter had a similar premise which lasted for 8 seasons.
The new series will feature Zaillian himself as an executive producer along with, Garrett Basch, Philipp Keel, and Entertainment 360’s Guymon Casady and Ben Forkner. No production date or release date for the new series has been set.
Zaillian has written the screenplay for the upcoming The Irishman directed by Martin Scorsese for Netflix.