Netflix is Somehow Making The Talented Mr. Ripley Even Darker

Prepare to be re-introduced to a problematic fave.


Before there was Saltburn, there was The Talented Mr. Ripley. The 1999 thriller, based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1995 novel, told a twisting tale of one man’s dream to befriend — and eventually supersede — a rich young socialite. Matt Damon and Jude Law’s performances were iconic, but in the age of reboot fever, any good story can be redone in a new light.

Now, Netflix has released a trailer for the upcoming remake, Ripley, and it takes a decidedly different approach to the story and cinematography. The limited series, written and directed by The Irishman and Schindler’s List screenwriter Stephen Zaillian, stars Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley, Johnny Flynn as Tom’s target, Dickie Greenleaf, and Dakota Fanning as Dickie’s love interest, Marge Sherwood. Filmed entirely in black and white, it paints Ripley almost like a supervillain, echoing Scott’s past as Sherlock’s Moriarty.

In the original movie, much like modern “eat the rich” films such as Parasite and Saltburn, it was difficult not to root for the scamming Tom Ripley as he pulled himself up by his bootstraps and wormed his way into a better social class. His means weren’t ethical, but his motivations were very relatable. Damon’s Ripley, however, sometimes gave viewers the impression he was flying by the seat of his pants, panicking and improvising as he sunk further and further into his charade.

Scott’s version of Ripley, however, is already a conniving fraudster who’s ditching passports in storm grates and tricking authorities with his smooth talking. Andrew Scott teased an eviler portrayal of the character to Vanity Fair in December.

“I feel like you’re required to love and advocate for your characters. You don’t play the opinions, the previous attitudes that people might have about Tom Ripley,” Scott said. “You have to throw all those out, try not to listen to them, and have to have the courage to create our own version and my own understanding of the character.”

Will this version of Tom Ripley be a full-fledged supervillain?


This trailer gives us our first glimpse of Scott’s take on Ripley, and it looks far darker than what fans of the original movie may expect. Even still, between Scott’s charm and a gloomier, more noir-influenced take on the story, it will be hard not to sympathize with him. Maybe Taylor Swift will be proven wrong: always rooting for the anti-hero isn’t exhausting.

Ripley premieres April 4, 2024 on Netflix.

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