Dakota Fanning Joins Showtime's 'Ripley' Opposite Andrew Scott

Believe it or not, Showtime's Ripley has added another beautiful star to its very good-looking cast. Dakota Fanning is joining the new Showtime drama based on Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley novels, opposite Fleabag's Andrew Scott, who takes on the title role of Tom Ripley.

Showtime announced that Dakota Fanning (The AlienistOnce Upon a Time in Hollywood) is joining the cast of its upcoming drama series Ripley, based on the character of Tom Ripley from Highsmith's acclaimed books, who would go on to inspire Anthony Minghella's 1999 movie The Talented Mr. Ripley. Fanning is set to play Marge Sherwood, an American living in Italy "who suspects darker motives underlie Tom's affability." The role was played by Gwyneth Paltrow in the 1999 movie.

In the series is written and directed by  Steven Zaillian (The Night Of) and follows "Tom Ripley, a grifter scraping by in early 1960s New York, is hired by a wealthy businessman 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."

Emmy nominee Scott takes on the title role of the sociopathic con man Tom Ripley, while Johnny Flynn (Emma.) stars as Dickie Greenleaf, played by Matt Damon and Jude Law in The Talented Mr. Ripley movie, respectively. While the first season at least appears to be a straight adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley, the Showtime series is based on all of Highsmith's Tom Ripley novels, suggesting that the show, if successful, could go on to adapt all five novels published by the author.

The casting of Fanning is interesting, though. She's notably younger than the 44-year-old Scott and the 37-year-old Flynn, but as she's shown in her post-child actor roles like The Alienist and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, there's a wiliness to her that Paltrow's more naive portrayal of Marge didn't possess. Maybe her relative youth to Scott and Flynn will bring that naivety, but I'll be interested to see how she tackles a role that was always a little peripheral to Tom and Dickie.

"Dakota Fanning is the perfect choice to play the deliciously complicated Marge opposite Andrew Scott's Tom Ripley," said Israel. "She's an actor that brings smarts and vulnerability to every part, with so much bubbling beneath the surface. We can't wait to see her sink her teeth into this role in Steve Zallian's RIPLEY."

Production of Ripley is set to begin later this year in Italy. It's executive produced by Steven Zaillian, Garrett Basch, Guymon Casady, Ben Forkner, Sharon Levy, Philipp Keel and Charlie Corwin. Scott will serve as a producer on the series.