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Every Question You Have About ‘Ripley,’ Answered

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Meanwhile, Italian actor Pasquale Esposito has also confirmed that he’s joined the project in a supporting part, and according to Deadline, musician and actor Eliot Sumner (No Time to Die) will appear in a recurring role as a friend of Greenleaf’s who becomes increasingly suspicious of Ripley. It’s not yet clear if this will be a version of Freddie Miles, the obnoxious aristocrat Philip Seymour Hoffman embodied in the original film. Then there’s screen legend John Malkovich, who’s been spotted on set in Venice filming scenes with Scott (funnily enough, Malkovich himself played the sociopath in 2002’s Ripley’s Game). The question keeping us up at night, however, is who on earth will play Meredith Logue, the scene-stealing textile heiress with a penchant for wasp-waisted outerwear and show-stopping ballgowns? Or, will that part, which was created specifically for Cate Blanchett in the film, not appear in Ripley at all? We may know soon enough. 

What’s the plot of Ripley?

The drama’s official log line states that it will follow “Tom Ripley, a grifter scraping by in early 1960s New York [who] is hired by a wealthy man to travel to Italy to try to convince his vagabond son to return home. Tom’s acceptance of the job is the first step into a complex life of deceit, fraud and murder.” Fans of both Patricia Highsmith’s novel and Anthony Minghella’s big-screen adaptation will be familiar with what happens next: After inserting himself into the idyllic life Greenleaf and Sherwood have built together, Ripley becomes obsessed with the former and is hurt when Greenleaf seems to prefer the company of his socialite friend Freddie Miles. Ripley begins trying on Greenleaf’s clothes and adopting his mannerisms, which disconcerts him and eventually leads to an explosive confrontation in which—spoiler alert—Greenleaf is killed. 

Ripley then assumes Greenleaf’s identity, draws on his generous allowance, and courts the gregarious Meredith Logue, only to run into Sherwood and Miles again. As the net seems to close around him, Ripley proves that there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to keep up appearances.         

Who’s behind the camera on Ripley?

All eight episodes of Ripley will be written and directed by Steven Zaillian, who co-created the tense police procedural The Night Of and won an Oscar for penning Schindler’s List. The other screenwriting credits to his name? American Gangster, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Irishman, and Gangs of New York, suggesting that Ripley will be a hardboiled crime drama in the same vein rather than a frothier Italian romp.

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