Fleabag's 'hot priest' to star in Patricia Highsmith 'Ripley' series

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Andrew Scott, the so-called "hot priest" of Emmy-winning "Fleabag," is the latest star of the breakout hit comedy to land a major new US television role.

Scott will star in "Ripley," a TV adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's acclaimed Tom Ripley crime novels, Showtime network said Wednesday.

The character, an impoverished New York con artist who morphs into a faux-aristocratic European serial killer, was played by Matt Damon in 1999 film "The Talented Mr Ripley."

The announcement comes after "Fleabag" dominated Sunday's Emmys, emerging as the night's surprise winner with six awards at television's answer to the Oscars.

Scott joined the irreverent British comedy for the second and final series, playing a clergyman who strikes up an intense and unlikely romance with Phoebe Waller-Bridge's protagonist.

His character has become a cult phenomenon, referred to by legions of fans simply as "hot priest."

On Tuesday, Amazon announced a major new content-producing deal with Waller-Bridge, who also wrote "Fleabag," reportedly worth $20 million per year over three years.

Accepting the best comedy prize at Sunday's glitzy ceremony, Waller-Bridge said the season "would not have happened and exploded the way it did if it weren't for Andrew Scott."

Scott joined the show "like a whirlwind and gave a performance of such depth and complexity that just elevated the whole thing for all of us," she said.

Irish-born Scott was previously known for playing villain Jim Moriarty in BBC's "Sherlock," and shadowy British spy chief "C" in the 2015 James Bond film "Spectre."

"Ripley" will be written and directed by "Schindler's List" Oscar-winning screenwriter Steven Zaillian.