Dakota Fanning is the latest name to be attached to Showtime’s new drama series Ripley, succeeding Gwyneth Paltrow as the role of Marge Sherwood for this TV adaptation of Patricia Highsmith‘s bestseller Tom Ripley novels. Paltrow played Marge in the 1999 film adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley alongside Matt Damon as Tom Ripley and Jude Law as Dickie Greenlead. For Ripley, Fleabag’s Andrew Scott and Emma’s Johnny Flynn will take over the Damon and Law roles, respectively. Helming the first season of Ripley is Oscar and Golden Globe-winner Steven Zaillian, the brilliant writer behind Schindler’s List and The Night Of. He is joined by executive producers Garrett Basch, Guymon Casady, Ben Forkner, Sharon Levy, Philipp Keel and Charlie Corwin.
Set in the ‘60s, Ripley will follow young grifter Tom Ripley (Scott) who is hired by a wealthy businessman to bring his galivanting son home from Europe. Tom’s acceptance of the job marks his descent into a whirlwind life of deceit, lies and eventually violence. Fanning’s Marge is an American living in Italy with boyfriend Dickie Greenleaf (Flynn), who suspects Tom’s motives and history. Fanning will begin filming Ripley later this year on location in Italy. (Guess Adam Driver and Lady Gaga will have to make room on their House of Gucci set.)
In an official statement, Showtime’s EVP of Scripted Programming, Amy Israel, said, “Dakota Fanning is the perfect choice to play the deliciously complicated Marge opposite Andrew Scott’s Tom Ripley. 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 Zaillian‘s Ripley.”
In Anthony Minghella’s feature adaptation, Paltrow nailed Marge’s combination of warmth, friendliness, as well as her intelligence and intuition. After more than 20 years of acting under her belt (at only 27 too), Fanning most certainly has the chops to take on this meaty role. Based on our knowledge of the film and the synopsis, the role of Marge seems to be akin to Fanning’s turn as Sara Howard in The Alienist.
Fanning was also recently cast as Susan Elizabeth Ford, the daughter of President Gerald and Betty Ford, in another Showtime anthology series about America’s first ladies. She is also tied to the upcoming adaptation of The Bell Jar, in which Kirsten Dunst was previously attached to direct. Finally, she’s also starring in Mélanie Laurent’s adaptation of Kristin Hannah’s bestselling novel The Nightingale. And the best fact about this last project? She’s finally starring in a movie with her sister Elle Fanning.
Ripley does not have a released date at this time. We’ll keep you informed as details emerge.