“Ripley,” the famous killer, returns in a series on Netflix

In 1955, American writer Patricia Highsmith traveled through Europe. On that long journey, which she paid for with the income she received from the film adapted from her book “Strangers on a Train,” directed by Alfred Hitchcock, she gave birth to a new character that would accompany her for more than thirty-five years: the notorious killer Tom Ripley.

The first time he appeared in a book was in “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” There, a shy and young New Yorker, he receives a strange but tempting assignment from the billionaire Mr. Greenleaf, to persuade his son Dickie to give up his pleasant life in Italy and return to the United States. The writer would not return to this character until twenty years later, in 1970, when she restored him with the novel “Ripley’s Mask,” in which he appears married to a wealthy heiress and turns, at least outwardly, into a respectable man.

But Tom Ripley, of course, is not exactly a gentleman, but an unscrupulous sociopath, a man of lowly class obsessed with social climbing, a seducer, cultured and elegant, and a lover of Bach and Oscar Wilde. With ambiguous morals, he is a man who seems ready to take revenge on those who, he believes, enjoy a life they do not deserve: he kills for some kind of social justice. He deceives and deceives and deceives.

The book was made into a movie in 1999 by Anthony Minghella, starring: Matt Damon, Jude Law, and Gwyneth Paltrow. The film, titled The Talented Mr. Ripley, received five Academy Award nominations, although it ultimately did not win a statuette.

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Now Tom Ripley is back, but in the form of a series. Tom Ripley in the series is Andrew Scott (remembered for his role as a priest in the fantastic film “Fleabag”). Johnny Flynn will play the free-spirited person in Italy who must convince him to return, and Dakota Fanning will play Marge Sherwood, a woman living in Italy who suspects there are darker motives behind Tom's friendliness.

Filmed in black and white, the film was directed and written by Steven Zaillian, known for his work on “Schindler's List,” “The Irishman” and “American Gangster.” All eight seasons are scheduled to premiere on April 4 on Netflix.

Terry Alexander

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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