Steven Zaillian Eying September 2020 Start For ‘Ripley’ Series Shoot – Variety

Steven Zaillian is getting ready to start shooting his “Ripley” TV series toplining Andrew Scott (“Fleabag”) in the titular role with plans for cameras to roll in September 2020 in Italy on the 8-episode Showtime series that the Oscar-winning multi-hyphenate will direct.

“We are hoping to start shooting in Italy in September 2020,” Zaillian said, speaking from the Italian island of Capri were he is being honored by the 24th annual Capri Hollywood International Film Festival as author of the screenplay of Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” for which he in the running for a Golden Globe.

Zaillian added that he’s also in Italy for some locations scouting. His team has been scouting locations for the “Ripley” show in Capri and in the nearby island of Ischia, as well as on the Amalfi Coast and in Rome and Palermo.

“The bulk of the show will be shot in Italy,” Zaillian said, noting that “there are several parts for Italian talents.”

After Italy, the show’s shoot will be moving to New York. The Italian line producer of the “Ripley” series is Enzo Sisti, a veteran whose credits include, most recently,  Netflix’s “The Two Popes” and the Italy portion of the latest “Bond” pic “No Time to Die.”

Zaillian confirmed that the “Ripley” series will use the five novels written by Patricia Highsmith — “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Ripley Under Ground,” “Ripley’s Game,” “The Boy Who Followed Ripley” and “Ripley Underwater.” He specified that the first season is based on Highsmith’s first book.

“The hope is that each subsequent four books will also each be an eight-episode season in the series,” he said.

Andrew Scott’s role as Tom Ripley in the show’s first season has been described by Showtime as that of 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. Ripley’s acceptance of the job is the first step into a complex life of deceit, fraud and murder.

“Ripley” will mark Zaillian’s return to television after creating HBO’s award-winning mini-series “The Night Of.”

Highsmith’s series of Ripley novels have been adapted for the big screen several times, but less frequently for U.S. television. The character was most famously played by Matt Damon in the 1999 psychological thriller “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” which was nominated for five Academy Awards, and then again in 2002 by John Malkovich in “Ripley’s Game,” directed by Italy’s Liliana Cavani in 2002.

“Ripley” is being co-produced by Showtime and Endemol Shine North America in association with Entertainment 360 and Filmrights. Executive producers are Zaillian, Garrett Basch, Guymon Casady, Ben Forkner, Sharon Levy and Philipp Keel of Diogenes. Scott will serve as a producer.

 

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