A musical theatre version of The Ambassadors, titled Ambassador, was first produced in 1971 in London's West End, then on Broadway in 1972, it proved unsuccessful. A television version of The Ambassadors was produced in 1977, with Paul Scofield as "Strether" and Lee Remick as "Maria Gostrey"; she later played "Eugenia" in the 1979 Merchant-Ivory cinema version of The Europeans.
Patricia Highsmith's 1955 novel The Talented Mr. Ripley begins with the protagonist, Tom Ripley, traveling to Europe in pursuit of a wealthy man's son with orders to bring him back to the family business. The inspiration is acknowledged in the novel with an explicit mention of James' The Ambassadors.
Cynthia Ozick's novel Foreign Bodies (2010) tells the story of The Ambassadors with a woman as the protagonist.
The BBC adapted the novel for their Play of the Month television series in 1977.