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‘Fleabag’s Hot Priest Will Now Play a Hot Sociopath

‘Fleabag’s Hot Priest Will Now Play a Hot Sociopath

Get ready to feel weird about being attracted to Andrew Scott all over again.

Andrew Scott is cornering some kind of market.

After flooding basements on both sides of the Atlantic as the "hot priest" in Emmys-champ Fleabag, Scott is reportedly set to play hot sociopath Tom Ripley in Showtime's forthcoming adaptation of the beloved Patricia Highsmith series. On Wednesday, the network announced that Academy Award-winner Steven Zallian (Schindler's List, Moneyball) would write and direct the show's first season.

Although the Ripley novels have frequently been adapted on the big screen, this will be the first TV adaptation. Matt Damon played the character in 1999'sThe Talented Mr. Ripley, while Dennis Hopper and John Malkovich appeared, respectively, in the 1977 and 2002 versions of Ripley's Game.

It's unclear which of the five novels Ripley will pull from, but given Scott's casting, it's likely that the show will delve deeper into the character's sexuality than previous adaptations. The titular character is a duplicitous queer social climber who weasles his way into the lives of Europe's upper crust -- beginning with a group of naive expatriates on the Italian coast.

While Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley is an underrated classic -- featuring career-best work from Damon and co-stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law -- the character's fluid sexuality was largely implied.

Scott is just the right actor to help bring that subtext to the fore. In addition to being easy on the eyes, he is also gay. Prior to making Phoebe Waller-Bridge kneel on Fleabag, he starred in Pride, a 2014 independent film about the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners campaign in 1980s London.

The 43-year-old also ticks the second box on the queer antihero checklist, with a history of portraying men of ill intent. After appearing as the evil mastermind Moriarty inSherlock, he got to play a Bond villain in Specter.

If landing Scott is absolutedream casting, Showtime recognized its good fortune in a statement.

"We are so thrilled to have the supremely talented filmmaker, Steve Zaillian, adapt the singular saga of Tom Ripley from Patricia Highsmith's novels as an ongoing series for Showtime," said president of entertainment Gary Levine. "With Andrew Scott, whose charisma knows no bounds, inhabiting the iconic lead role, we feel confident that this will be a special one."

The cable network has not set a premiere date, but the show is likely to bow sometime in 2020. Jessica Chastain already has her DVR pre-set.

RELATED | Don't Call Fleabag's Hot Priest 'Openly Gay'

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