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Why Is 'Ripley' in Black & White? Netflix Showrunner Explains the Decision

Why Is 'Ripley' in Black & White? Netflix Showrunner Explains the Decision

Ripley is debuting on Netflix tomorrow, and you may be wondering why the entire series is shot in black-and-white with no color.

The series in inspired by Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” which was also made into a movie back in 1999 starring Matt Damon.

Here’s the show’s synopsis: Tom Ripley (Andrew Scott), a grifter scraping by in early 1960s New York, is hired by a wealthy man to travel to Italy to try to convince his vagabond son (Johnny Flynn) to return home. Tom’s acceptance of the job is the first step into a complex life of deceit, fraud and murder.

Keep reading to find out…

Ripley showrunner Steve Zaillian explained of the choice, “When Patricia wrote it, if she imagined a movie being made from it back then, it would be in black and white. The cover of that book that I had was in black-and-white, so as I was reading it, it was in my mind to be that way.”

“I also felt that this story — the one that she told, the one that I wanted to tell — was quite sinister and quite dark. I just couldn’t imagine that taking place in a beautiful Italian setting with bright blue skies and colorful outfits and things like that,” he added (via IndieWire).

Andrew Scott, who stars in the title role, added, “I think the great achievement of this version of the story is how it teaches the audience to watch the show,” Scott said. “We live in an age of television — not just television but in social media — where you have to say everything really quickly, and you have to say it in 15 characters or less, and you have to get on with it, people have a great obsession with that. But when you’re reading a novel, you can take real pleasure in the description of something over five or six pages. What I love is that sometimes the pacing can actually be very quick, but sometimes we can be really immersed in something. I think that’s a real real pleasure for the audience. And so, knowing that the black and white nature of cinematography marries in some way with the pacing and the tone of the show, also means that it allows us as actors just to be.”

Watch the show’s trailer here.

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Photos: Netflix
Posted to: Andrew Scott, Netflix, Ripley