Just a few days after “Fleabag” dominated the Emmy Awards, Showtime ordered eight-episodes of the new drama series “Ripley,” based on Patricia Highsmith’s bestselling Tom Ripley novels. The drama stars BAFTA Award winner Andrew Scott, who most people know as the ‘hot preist’ in “Fleabag,” taking the lead role of Tom Ripley. You have time to read the original novels before seeing the adaptation, and you can find Highsmith’s work right here on Amazon.

Oscar and Golden Globe winner Steven Zaillian will write and direct the entire first season according to Showtime. The announcement was made on Wednesday by Gary Levine and Jana Winograde, Presidents of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc.

In the series, Tom Ripley, a grifter scraping by in early 1960s New York, 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. You might remember the film adaptation from director Anthony Minghella. The film starred Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Jack Davenport. The movie did well in theaters, opening in second place behind “Any Given Sunday” with a $12.7M opening before grossing $128.7M worldwide.

“We are so thrilled to have the supremely talented filmmaker, Steve Zaillian, adapt the singular saga of Tom Ripley from Patricia Highsmith’s novels as an ongoing series for Showtime,” said Levine. “With Andrew Scott, whose charisma knows no bounds, inhabiting the iconic lead role, we feel confident that this will be a special one.”

Scott won the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Moriarty in “Sherlock” and the British Film Independent Award for his work in CBS Films’ “Pride.” His other film and TV credits include “His Dark Materials,” “Black Mirror,” “Spectre,” “King Lear,” “The Hour,” “Foyle’s War,” “John Adams,” and “Lennon Naked.” Scott is also an Olivier Award-winning theatre actor. His most recent work in the United Kingdom includes Present Laughter at The Old Vic, Hamlet (for which he won the Critics Circle Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award and The Evening Standard Award) and Birdland.

Zaillian won Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA screenplay awards for “Schnidler’s List” and was also nominated for all three honors for his work on “Moneyball. “He has received two other Oscar nominations, for “Gangs of New York” and “Awakenings,” as well as BAFTA noms for “Gangs of New York” and “American Gangster.” In addition, he received Emmy nominations in both writing and directing and won the DGA award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement for “The Night Of,” which he executive produced and which also received an Outstanding Limited Series nomination. Zaillian also directed and wrote the screenplays for “A Civil Action” and “Searching for Bobby Fischer.” His writing credits also include “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Interpreter,” “Hannibal,” “Clear and Present Danger,” and “The Falcon and the Snowman.”

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