The cast of Fleabag continues to book big projects. Three days after Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s late Amazon comedy swept the Emmys, season-two breakout Andrew Scott (aka “Hot Priest” on the show) has firmed up a deal to star as book and film character Tom Ripley for a Showtime series based on Patricia Highsmith’s novels.
Showtime’s adaptation, Ripley, has received a straight-to-series order of eight episodes after writer-director Steven Zaillian sparked a bidding war when he first took the project out earlier this year. Ripley is based off of Highsmith’s quintet of books, though many perhaps know the character best from the 1999 film adaptation The Talented Mr. Ripley starring Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett and Matt Damon in the title role.
The Ireland-born Scott has been a prominent figure in U.K. theater, film and television for some time, notably recurring on the BBC series Sherlock as Jim Moriarty, but the actor ascended to another level with his lauded performance on Fleabag’s second season — one he followed up with a starring role on a recent episode of Black Mirror.
“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 Showtime president of entertainment Gary Levine, who announced the news Wednesday alongside counterpart Jana Winograde. “With Andrew Scott, whose charisma knows no bounds, inhabiting the iconic lead role, we feel confident that this will be a special one.”
Zaillian will write and direct the entire first season of Ripley, which follows the titular character from 1960s New York to Italy after he’s hired by a wealthy man to retrieve his vagabond son and return him to America. Deceit, fraud, murder and, if it’s anything like the movie, palpable sexual tension ensue.
Scott was clearly poised to make some waves stateside after Fleabag, having signed with CAA in August. His landing of the Ripley role comes on the heals of Fleabag co-star Sian Clifford taking the lead role in the AMC and ITV miniseries Quiz and Waller-Bridge signing a massive development deal with Amazon, one that stands to net her $60 million over three years. (She is currently writing the script for a feature film she plans to direct.)
The recipient of a BAFTA Award and a British Film Independent Award, Scott’s other credits include Spectre, King Lear, The Hour, Foyle’s War and HBO’s upcoming His Dark Materials.
Ripley is being co-produced by Showtime and Endemol Shine North America in association with Entertainment 360 and Filmrights. Zaillian will serve as executive producer alongside Garrett Basch, Guymon Casady, Ben Forkner, Sharon Levy and Philipp Keel of Diogenes. Scott will serve as a producer on the series.