'Talented Mr. Ripley' TV Series In The Works From Steve Zaillian

Writer and director Steve Zaillian is returning to TV for a Talented Mr. Ripley TV series. The series will be inspired by the sociopathic social climber from Patricia Highsmith's novels, and while the Ripley show hasn't found a home yet, several networks are clamoring to get their hands on it. This will be the latest screen adaptation of Highsmith's character, who has been featured in several films – most notably Anthony Minghella's 1999 adaptation, The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Deadline reports that a new Tom Ripley TV series from Steve Zaillian is considered a "hot package" right now, so expect some big network to snap it up soon. Zaillian is using Patricia Highsmith's five Ripley novels – The Talented Mrs. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, Ripley's Game, The Boy Who Followed Ripley and Ripley Underwater – as the basis for the show.

Highsmith's books have already inspired several adaptations. The Talented Mr. Ripley was first adapted as the 1960 French film Purple NoonRipley's Game served as the inspiration for the 1977 movie The American Friend, starring Dennis Hopper. In 1999, The Talented Mr. Ripley got the adaptation treatment again, with Matt Damon in the lead role. Ripley Under Ground was adapted in 2005, starring Barry Pepper. And Ripley's Game came to the screen yet again in 2002, starring John Malkovich. Here's the synopsis for the first in the series:

Tom Ripley, a young striver, is newly arrived in the heady world of Manhattan. A product of a broken home, branded a "sissy" by his dismissive Aunt Dottie, Ripley meets a wealthy industrialist who hires him to bring his playboy son, Dickie Greenleaf, back from gallivanting in Italy. Soon Ripley's fascination with Dickie's debonair lifestyle turns obsessive as he finds himself enraged by Dickie's ambivalent affections for Marge, a charming American dilettante.

There's certainly enough material in Highsmith's books to form a TV series. And TV shows about sociopaths can often work out well – look at The SopranosBreaking Bad or Hannibal. Zaillian is also a strong writer, with credits on the first Mission: Impossible movie, Gangs of New York, David Fincher's Girl With the Dragon TattooMoneyball and more. He also wrote and directed the HBO series The Night Of. The quality of the show will likely rely heavily on where it ends up. If this is some sort of network series, I could see it easily falling apart. But if someone like Netflix, Amazon or HBO gets ahold of it, the results should be worth watching.