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Ripley: Andrew Scott’s new thriller gets first trailer and release date

"You're a very hard man to find"

By Alastair James

Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley in Ripley (Image: Netflix)

Andrew Scott appears as Thomas Ripley in the first intense trailer for Netflix’s series Ripley.

Scott, 47, stars as the titular character, a grifter in 1960s New York who is recruited by a wealthy businessman to find his spoiled son in Italy. The series is based on Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr Ripley.

A synopsis for the series reads: “Tom Ripley (Andrew Scott), 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. The drama is based on Patricia Highsmith’s bestselling Tom Ripley novels.”

As well as Scott, the eight-part series will also star Dakota Fanning plays Marge Sherwood. Johnny Flynn plays Dickie Greenleaf, the “vagabond son.” Ripley is written and directed by Academy Award winner Steven Zaillian.

“You’re a very hard man to find,” the grifter is told in the short teaser. “No address, phone, office.” Afterward, a variety of characters say variations of Ripley’s name set to dramatic and insidious music.

“If Tom Ripley was in a gay bar, I’m not sure that he would fit in there. Nor do I think he’s a straight character”

When it was confirmed that Scott would be stepping into the role of Ripley, the actor said the scripts were the “most astonishing.” Scott also offered his take on the long-running debate about the character’s sexuality. Highsmith has said in the past “I don’t think Ripley is gay,” despite there being some suggestions to the contrary written into the book.

Scott told Interview magazine in 2021: “If Tom Ripley was in a gay bar, I’m not sure that he would fit in there. Nor do I think he’s a straight character.” Scott also said: “I think he’s a queer character, in the sense that he’s very other’.” He then continued: “What’s his relationship with sex, or death, or with family or friends? It’s interesting that a character is the sum of the parts that you don’t have to play.”

1999’s film based on Highsmith’s novel starring Matt Damon in the lead role, won plaudits at the time for the supposed LGBTQ depiction of Ripley’s relationship with the younger Greenleaf. Equally, however, the film has also been criticised as ‘queerbaiting,’ differing little in the way of concrete representation.

Ripley will be streaming from 4 April 2024.