Ripley on Netflix: new trailer drops with Andrew Scott starring as Patricia Highsmith's notorious conman

Patricia Highsmith's 1955 novel The Talented Mr. Ripley has lingered in the public – and filmmakers' – imagination since it was first published. And with good reason.

The brilliant and sinister novel follows Tom Ripley who slips into the life of unsuspecting charismatic playboy Dickie Greenleaf, setting off a dark, thrilling chain of events.

Now it is being adapted into a highly anticipated black and white Netflix series, starring Andrew Scott – and a brand new, full length trailer has just been released. It shows investigators talking to both Ripley (Scott) and to Dakota Fanning’s Marge Sherwood. “He just wouldn’t go away,” she says.

The intensity builds over the course of the trailer: “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” says Ripley in another scene, talking to Marge. There are exquisite vistas of the Italian Riviera and of a beautiful mansion on a cliff.

The new series has been written and directed by Steven Zaillian, the Oscar-winning writer of Schindler's List (1993) who also co-wrote and co-directed highly acclaimed series The Night Of (2016).

Here's what to know about Ripley...

Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley (Netflix © 2023)
Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley (Netflix © 2023)

When will it be released?

Ripley is landing on Netflix on Netflix on April 4.

What’s it about?

The new series is an adaptation of Highsmith’s first novel about Tom Ripley (there are five in total), drawing on its eternally frightening themes: The Talented Mr. Ripley plays on the fear of a malignant outsider who, once let in against everyone's better judgement, causes chaos.

Adding to intensity of Highsmith's award-winning novel is its glorious backdrop. Italy at the peak of summer; Rome, Venice and the Ligurian Riviera.

The new series is set in the Sixties, a decade after Highsmith’s first novel. Scott's Ripley is very clearly not the same age as Flynn's Dickie (Flynn is 40) which means the plot may have to be slightly altered. In the original book, Tom weasels his way into Dickie's life by pretending to be an old classmate.

The series' logline on Netflix's Tudum says: "Hired by a wealthy industrialist to travel to Italy to try to convince the man's dilettante son, Dickie Greenleaf, to return home. Accepting the job is Tom’s first step into a complex life of deceit, fraud, and murder."

Who is starring in the new adaptation?

Andrew Scott plays Tom Ripley, the series' protagonist. Despite having won a BAFTA and two Olivier awards, and starred in shows from Vanya (at the Duke of York's Theatre, 2023), the First World War blockbuster 1917 (2019) and Sherlock (2010 to 2017) Scott is probably still best-remembered for playing the 'hot priest' in Fleabag.

The 47-year-old Irish actor continues to go from strength to strength. He was heralded for his one-man take on Uncle Vanya in September, which won him the Best Actor gong at The Evening Standard Theatre Awards, is starring in Andrew Haigh's All Of Us Strangers, which opened in January and will next play the terrifying Ripley.

He stars in the eight-part series alongside Johnny Flynn (Lovesick) as aristocrat Dickie Greenleaf and Dakota Fanning as his girlfriend Marge Sherwood. Other actors include I Blame Coco singer Eliot Sumner, Italian actor Margherita Buy and John Malkovich, who played Ripley in Ripley's Game (2002).

Who has made it?

The series has been created, written and directed by Steven Zaillian, who wrote Hannibal (2001), Gangs of New York (2002), American Gangster (2007), Moneyball (2011) and David Fincher's version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011). The 70-year-old Zaillian has had an absolutely stellar career as a writer, but has also found success as a filmmaker, writing and directing Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993), A Civil Action (1998), All the King's Men (2006) and co-directing and co-writing The Night Of, the highly-acclaimed HBO miniseries starring Riz Ahmed, which won five Emmys in 2017.

Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley (Lorenzo Sisti / Netflix © 2021)
Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley (Lorenzo Sisti / Netflix © 2021)

What else do we know?

The whole series will be presented in black and white. Speaking to Vanity Fair, Zaillian explained, "The edition of the Ripley book I had on my desk had an evocative black-and-white photograph on the cover. As I was writing, I held that image in my mind. Black and white fits this story – and it's gorgeous."

Is there a trailer?

Yes, find it at the top of the page.

What have the fans said?

Fans have been split by Zaillian's novel approach to adapting the book: "Andrew Scott playing Tom Ripley is some top tier casting," said one fan under the trailer. "Oh god, one of the best actors I know and magnificent cinematography! You got me Netflix," said another.

But others were less sure, saying, "Why is it in black and white?", "Isn’t he a bit too old?" and "The original feels lush and sexy almost to the point of tawdry...this feels deeply unsexy."

Has the novel been adapted for the screen before?

It has – most notably into the star-studded 1992 film starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon and Jude Law. It was also adapted into French film Purple Moon (1960) from René Clément, Indian Tamil-language film Naan (2012), a radio series, a play and an audiobook.

Ripley will premiere on Netflix on April 4