Andrew Scott to star in The Talented Mr Ripley reboot

Scott has hinted the character will be queer, "in the sense that he’s very ‘other'."


Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: HBO

Fleabag’s hot priest Andrew Scott is set to star as Tom Ripley in a TV adaptation of The Talented Mr Ripley.

Based on Patricia Highsmith's novel, The Talented Mr Ripley, Showtime's straight-to-series order of eight episodes will see the 45-year-old Irish actor take on a role that has been repeated reincarnated cinematically – most memorably, Matt Damon played the titular Ripley in Anthony Minghella's 1999 adaption of Highsmith's novel. Scott has some big boots to fill!

Scott told Variety that the scripts are the "most astonishing" he's ever read back in 2020, let's hope that holds up.

The Talented Mr Ripley follows the eponymous character as a grifter just getting by in early 1960s New York who, according to the synopsis, “is hired by a wealthy man to travel to Italy to try to convince his vagabond son to return home.”

What unravels is an odd friendship that descends into deceit and murder against the scenic backdrop of the Italian Riviera.

With tension in the air, Scott seems to be hinting that it could turn sexual; in an interview for Interview Mag last year the actor said: “If Tom Ripley was in a gay bar, I’m not sure that he would fit in there. Nor do I think he’s a straight character.”

“I think he’s a queer character, in the sense that he’s very ‘other,’” He continued. “What’s his relationship with sex, or death, or with family or friends? It’s interesting that a character is the sum of the parts that you don’t have to play.”

Scott will be joined by Johnny Flynn as Dickie Greenleaf and Dakota Fanning as Dickie’s girlfriend, Marge Sherwood – roles played by Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow in the 1999 film adaptation. 

This may be Scott's big break as a leading man for US viewers as he's been a staple in the UK worlds of film, television and theatre for a number of years. He got his first real sense of popularity with BBC's Sherlock where he played evil villain mastermind, Jim Moriarty.

Scott was lauded for his performance in the second season of Fleabag as well as his starring role in an episode of Black Mirror.

The Attitude September/October issue is out now.