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‘Luther’ Creator Neil Cross to Pen ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ TV Adaptation (Exclusive)

“Luther” creator Neil Cross has been recruited by Endemol Shine Studios, Entertainment 360 and Diogenes to adapt Patricia Highsmith’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and other novels in the series for television.

The pact stems from the deal that Endemol Shine, Entertainment 360 and Diogenes struck last year with the Highsmith estate to develop the five novels revolving around Tom Ripley character as a TV series. Landing Cross for the project is a coup as the scribe has been courted for TV in the U.S. following the success of “Luther,” the BBC drama starring Idris Elba.

Guymon Casady and Ben Forkner will exec produce for Entertainment 360, with Philipp Keel serving as exec producer for Diogenes, Highsmith’s Zurich-based publisher and agency.

The project is being developed internally via Endemol Shine with an eye toward a launch in the U.S. and other key territories at the same time.

The globe-trotting Ripley character has been described as a “dapper psychopath.” “The Talented Mr. Ripley” is set in 1950s Italy among expatriate Americans. Matt Damon limned the character in Anthony Minghella’s 1999 feature adaptation of “Talented” that also starred Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Highsmith explored the character over several decades. “Talented” was published in 1955 followed by “Ripley Underground (1970), “Ripley’s Game” (1974), “The Boy Who Followed Ripley” (1980) and “Ripley Under Water” (1991).

Cross is repped by UTA.

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