Deadline reports that Oscar-winning screenwriter Steve Zaillian has a very attractive series package deal and it’s already potential started a bidding war among the networks. He’s expected to develop, write, and then direct a series adaptation of author Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley, a sociopath character in her crime novels that Matt Damon played in The Talented Mr. Ripley.

The hot package that has several networks salivating is a series that Oscar-winning screenwriter Steve Zaillian will write and direct that focuses on Tom Ripley, the sociopath anti-hero of the Patricia Highsmith crime novel series. Sources said that this will go in a straight-to-series deal and that Zaillian is expected to write and direct most of the first season’s worth of episodes. It will be the first major series for Zaillian since the acclaimed HBO mini The Night Of.

They also mention that Steve will use the five novels from Highsmith as inspiration for the series’ roadmap.

Zaillian will use the five novels written by Highsmith — The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, Ripley’s Game, The Boy Who Followed Ripley and Ripley Underwater — as a road map to show Ripley’s progression from con artist to serial killer.

Steve’s stunning amount of writing credits includes Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece Schindler’s List, Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (had also penned two unused sequel scripts also based on the novels), Ridley Scott’s American Gangster, Bennett Miller’s Moneyball, Brian De Palma’s Mission: Impossible, Harrison Ford’s Clear and Present Danger, and most recently worked with Martin Scorsese again on his upcoming Netflix gangster film The Irishman.

In the world of television, he’s likely best known for his acclaimed HBO drama mini-series The Night Of, which he wrote and directed episodes as well.

Considering his previous relationship with HBO, I would assume that they end up landing the project. It sounds like a potentially amazing television series and Zallian has proven himself one of the best screenwriters working today and this Tom Ripley series should be one to keep an eye on.

To be young and carefree amid the blue waters and idyllic landscape of sun-drenched Italy in the late 1950s; that’s la dolce vita Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) craves- and Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) leads. When Dickie’s father asks Tom to bring his errant playboy son back home to America, Dickie and his beautiful expatriate girlfriend, Marge Sherwood (Gwyneth Paltrow), never suspect the dangerous extremes to which Ripley will go to make their lifestyle his own.


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