Will Netflix's 'Ripley' Get a Season 2?

There are plenty more Ripley books for the series to explore.

andrew scott as tom ripley, standing near two police officers, in 'ripley'

Warning: Spoilers for the end of Ripley ahead. Ripley, Netflix's new adaptation of the 1955 Patricia Highsmith novel The Talented Mr. Ripley, brings literature's most notorious con-man to the small screen. Directed by Oscar winner Steven Zaillian, the eight-episode series stars Fleabag's "Hot Priest" himself, Andrew Scott, as Tom Ripley. When Tom is hired by a shipping scion to wayward heir Dickie Greenleaf (Johnny Flynn), the chameleonic scammer sees an opportunity to change his life, no matter how many broken hearts (or dead bodies) he leaves in his wake.

The Netflix series is a faithful adaptation of Highsmith's novel, with viewers following Mr. Ripley throughout Italy as he evades authorities suspecting him for the murders of Dickie and Freddie Miles (Eliot Sumner). Though Ripley is billed as a miniseries, fans are wondering whether the series could continue, especially since there are plenty more "Ripliad" books that can be brought to life. Read on for everything we know about a possible Ripley season 2.

What happens at the end of 'Ripley' season 1?

By the final episode of Ripley, the titular man has reinvented himself twice. First he assumes Dickie's identity, after killing the inspiring painter once it became clear that he was about to cut Tom loose. Then, when Dickie's friend Freddie came calling, Tom killed the second man to cover his tracks. Soon after, Tom-pretending-to-be-Dickie comes under suspicion of the deaths of both Freddie and "Tom," who's been presumed missing after the fateful boat ride. (All of these mistaken identities are easier to believe when you remember this show takes place in the internet-free '50s.)

three people (left, Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley, Johnny Flynn as Dickie Greenleaf and Eliot Sumner as Freddie Miles) sit at a table at an outdoor cafe, while a server waits on other diners, in 'ripley'

Tom Ripley (Andrew Scott), Johnny Flynn (Dickie Greenleaf), and Eliot Sumner (Freddie Miles) dine at a café, in Ripley.

(Image credit: Stefano Cristiano Montesi/NETFLIX)

After fleeing the Rome police as Dickie, Tom reclaims his own identity and travels to Venice, where he turns himself in to the police, pretending to be shocked at a newspaper report of his "disappearance." When Inspector Ravini (Maurizio Lombardi) pays a visit, Tom is able to disguise himself with a fake beard and wig and assure the detective that Tom Ripley is alive and well. He also convinces Ravini that Dickie was depressed and repressing his sexuality, which leads the authorities to believe that he may have killed himself.

But Tom still has to deal with Dickie's girlfriend Marge Sherwood (Dakota Fanning) and the elder Herbet Greenleaf, who has arrived in Italy with a private eye (played by Bokeem Woodbine) in tow. Tom's able to wrap everything up and make the story of Dickie's death by suicide stick with two more moves. First, Marge finds the rings that Tom tore off Dickie's dead body, but she believes Tom's story that Dickie gave them to him before harming himself. Then, in the conversation with the private eye, Tom paints a portrait of Dickie as an untalented repressed man who disappeared after Tom turned him down. With the "confession," Tom gets away with everything scot-free, living in a gorgeous villa in Venice with Dickie's stolen Picasso on the wall.

a man (Maurizio Lombardi as Inspector Ravini) sits in a living room chair and smokes a cigarette, in 'ripley'

Maurizio Lombardi as Inspector Ravini in the Ripley finale.

(Image credit: Philippe Antonello/Netflix)

The final moments of Ripley sees Inspector Ravini receive a copy of Marge’s finally-published travelogue, My Atrani. When he turns to the book's dedication, to Dickie, Ravini finally sees the real deceased man's face, and realizes he never met Dickie at all. Instead, he has the realization that he's been thoroughly, masterfully, played.

Has 'Ripley' been renewed for season 2?

Ripley has been billed as a limited series since it was firsr acquired by Netflix, but many other miniseries have been renewed after becoming a critical darling or ratings hit. (See Big Little Lies, The White Lotus, potentially Beef, the list goes on.) As of April 8, Netflix has yet to address fan speculation, but the streaming giant is known for waiting for a couple months of ratings, or any possible award nominations, to make decisions. However, there are clues that the Ripley team would at least be open to future seasons.

Before it landed at Netflix, the series was first announced as a Showtime series, with Scott attached to star and Zaillian to write and direct. Per the September 2019 report from Variety, at the time the show was planned as an "ongoing series," presumably with the possibility of adapting some of Highsmith's Ripley sequel novels. If Scott and Zaillian are still up to returning to the world of Ripley, that could make a strong case for anyone hoping for season 2.

a woman (Dakota Fanning as Marge Sherwood) reads a newspaper while standing outside, in 'ripley'

Dakota Fanning as Marge Sherwood, in Ripley.

(Image credit: Lorenzo Sisti/NETFLIX)

In an April 6 interview with Collider, Zaillian addressed whether he'd be open to continuing the series. "There are other books and they’re really good," he said of the "Ripliad" series. "I would do [Ripley] again if I was able to, but by that I mean, do I have another five years to do it? I’d have to think about that aspect of it. But in terms of the character continuing, yes, I think there’s a lot more with Tom Ripley. Tom Ripley goes through a lot of changes over the course of the five books, and they’re all interesting, so, yeah, absolutely. And there have been movies made about the other books, too. So, given the right circumstances, yes."

What would 'Ripley' season 2 be about?

As Zaillian noted to Collider, there's plenty more Ripley material to explore. Highsmith wrote five books starring the iconic con-man: The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, Ripley's Game, The Boy Who Followed Ripley, and Ripley Under Water. Ripley does pull from all five of the books, but the overall arc follows the first 1955 book, so there are lots of storylines for future seasons to explore. One interesting argument for continuing the series: the last two books have never been adapted for the screen before.

The finale of Ripley even includes a clue of where the series could go next, while also nodding towards another Ripley-verse adaptation. In a notable cameo, John Malkovich appears as Reeves, a new friend of Tom's who claims to be an art dealer but quickly recognizes him as a fellow scammer. Malkovich played Ripley in the 2002 Italian film Ripley's Game, which adapted the 1974 novel by the same name.

a man (John Malkovich as reeves) sits with another man at an outdoor cafe in venice, in 'ripley'

The mysterious Reeves (John Malkovich) meets with Tom, in the Ripley finale.

(Image credit: Stefano C. Montesi/NETFLIX)

In another direct nod to the third Ripley book, Reeves gives Tom a fake passport with the new identity T. Fanshaw. In the book, Tom stores some of Dickie’s things (including paintings) in Venice under the name Robert S. Fanshaw, which leads to speculation that Dickie may still be alive and hiding out under that name. If this means that we have a chance to see Tom Ripley's art forging days in the future, then we're all for it.

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.