Showtime’s Limited Series Ripley Finds New Home at Netflix Following Streaming Merger
Feb 19, 2023
Showtime has been cleaning house since merging with its sister streaming service, Paramount+. Under the new joint venture, Showtime has parted ways with several of its original programs to rebrand towards television franchises. Scripted series Let The Right One In and American Gigolo are the new union’s latest casualties, with both series receiving cancelations after one season. The unreleased drama Three Women narrowly escaped the cancelation curse by securing a new home at Starz. Similarly to the aforementioned series, another Showtime original has landed at another platform post-merger. Deadline reported on Friday that Showtime’s upcoming crime drama Ripley is currently in the process of being acquired by Netflix.
According to the report, the limited series’ relocation has occurred fairly quickly, and details surrounding the deal are still being finalized with the global streamer. However, sources with knowledge of the negotiations state that the deal is expected to close soon. The strategic move to shop the upcoming project to other platforms reportedly came from executive producer Garrett Basch and WME, who began exploring options following the recent announcement of Showtime’s new programming shift towards a Yellowstone-style TV franchise expansion model for its future content. This new endeavor includes multiple planned spinoffs for Billions and a prequel and spinoff series set in the Dexter universe. But before Ripley could land anywhere else, Netflix took preemptive measures and bought the project upon review of the series footage.
Ripley first received a series order from Showtime back in 2019, with the slated premiere time frame of late 2023-early 2024. The eight-episode limited series comes from Patricia Highsmith’s highly successful novel quintet about the career criminal and swindler Tom Ripley. Andrew Scott was brought on board to play the evasive and nefarious criminal starring alongside Dakota Fanning and Johnny Flynn.
Although there have been many film adaptations of the bestselling novel saga, Ripley was planned to primarily follow the events of the first novel, The Talented Mr. Ripley.
Per the series’ official logline, Tom Ripley (Scott), a grifter scraping by in early 1960s New York, is hired by a wealthy businessman to travel to Italy to try to convince his vagabond son Dickie Greenleaf (Flynn) to return home. Tom’s acceptance of the job is the first step into a complex life of deceit, fraud, and murder. Fanning portrays Marge Sherwood in the series, an American woman based in Italy who perceives Tom’s true motives are more insidious than he lets on.
Oscar-winner Steven Zaillian wrote and directed the entire first season of Ripley, in addition to serving as an executive producer. Basch, Guymon Casady, Ben Forkner, Sharon Levy, and Philipp Keel of Diogenes also serve as EPs for the upcoming series. The psychological crime drama was co-produced by Showtime and Endemol Shine North America in association with Entertainment 360 and Filmrights.
Ripley still has time before it hits the small screen, as the series is in the early stages of post-production. As it stands, the premiere window for the forthcoming series has not been updated. But more information is expected to come once the deal is finalized.
Related: How Netflix’s The Lost Daughter Is a Modern Feminist Take On The Talented Mr. Ripley
Ripley Is the Latest Iteration of the Revered Crime Novel Character
The sensational scammer Thomas Ripley was first introduced in the 1955 novel The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. The characterization of Tom as a suave and genial-presenting man who frequently evades the repercussions of his criminal actions provides an excellent premise to explore across both written and cinematic formats. Besides spawning four additional novels centered on the iconic character, the introductory novel has lived on in other mediums.
Ripley marks the first full series adaptation of the popularized first novel. Before Zaillian, the only other television adaptation came from the anthology series Studio One which premiered the first-ever adaptation of the introductory book in an episode that aired in January 1956. The Talented Mr. Ripley has commonly been adapted for cinema with a grand total of three film adaptations based on the first novel that dates back to the 1960s. The most notable of the iterations come from the 1999 Matt Damon-led version that has reached cult status since its release 24 years ago. Outside of television and film adaptations, it has also been adapted for radio, audiobooks, and theater.
The legacy of Tom in popular media is a testament to Highsmith’s ability to craft a compelling character and story that transcends time. Now, almost 70 years later, the ineffable story of Tom has the chance to resonate with modern audiences. Depending on the success of Ripley, audiences could see future adaptations that follow the subsequent four novels in the Tom Ripley saga.
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