Matt Damon has a lot of classic films under his belt, and clearly Netflix agrees since the platform has a remake of one of them on the way. The Talented Mr Ripley is becoming an eight-episode miniseries from the studio, and the first details suggest it’ll be quite the adaptation.
A highlight of Matt Damon‘s earlier years, The Talented Mr Ripley featured him as a young con artist, sent to Italy to convince a rich businessman’s son to return to the United States. The drama movie really confirms that he’s one of the best actors of his generation, as he worms his way through high society, fooling everyone and hiding the evidence through murder.
The upcoming Netflix series puts Andrew Scott in Damon’s role, as the manipulative criminal. He’s opposite Johnny Greenleaf as Dickie, the target of Tom’s mission and object of his obsession. Jude Law play that role in the thriller movie with Damon, so Greenleaf has some big shoes to fill.
Calling this a “remake” is a misnomer, since Tom Ripley comes from a set of novels by Patricia Highsmith. Although Damon’s version is the most known, it’s one of several translations to screen, and the others have starred John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe, and more.
Highsmith wrote five stories featuring Tom throughout his life, each time bringing his house of cards come precariously close to falling over before he manages to protect himself once again. That protection usually involves an immense amount of pain for others and murder, as you can see in The Talented Mr Ripley.
Anthony Minghella directed the version starring Damon, and while it’s one of the best movies from everyone involved, a TV series suits the concept better. There’s a lot of psychological depth to the books, and eight episodes provide more room to get into Tom and Dickie’s perspectives, as well as everyone in their orbit.
Likewise, they can expand into the other novels in consequential seasons, depending on how successful it is. Though conning his way into getting a fourth season from Netflix would be Tom Ripley’s greatest feat – but I digress.