Tambay Obenson | Shadow and Act

When asked about the future of his hit BBC series Luther 2 years ago, at what was supposed to be its end, star of the popular crime drama Idris Elba said the following during a press conference: “I’m far from done. He’s one of the characters that I love and have some say in where he goes. That’s enjoyable as a producer. I don’t see myself turning my back on it. I think there are various ways of dissecting Luther, from theater to film. I don’t see why not.”

He talked about some of the possibilities, although not giving a lot of details, stating: “In my head, the big version of this film is that Luther goes wherever Luther goes, and so does the story. I can imagine some very wonderful versions of Luther in New York, or Luther in Japan — the cityscape being what it is, and utilizing it in the same way as the show, but taking it into another culture and depth of imagination.”

You’ll recall that, in the same year (2015), Fox ordered an American TV version of Luther but would later shelve the project when they couldn’t find an actor to play the lead. Elba was to produce only; he wasn’t interested on being the “American Luther”l it was a job for another actor, but Fox found it a challenge to replicate him Stateside.

And of course the possibility of a Luther movie is one that’s been up in the air since the series’ very first season, when Elba made public his interests in a big screen adaptation. It’s a possibility that fans of the series have hoped will become a reality, but have gradually lost hope over the years as Elba becomes more in demand than he’s ever been. But don’t give up entirely, because Neil Cross, creator of Luther, who’s heading back to the small screen with Hard Sun – an upcoming pre-apocalyptic British television drama series – shared in an interview earlier this week that Luther the movie is still very much alive.

Speaking with Deadline about Hard Sun specifically, Cross was asked a few Luther related questions, specifically about the *reboot* of the series for a 5th season, after it was initially set to end after season 4. The announcement of a 5th season was made over this summer, much to the glee of the series’ fans.

When asked whether he’s still planning to bring Luther to the big screen, Cross said the following: “Absolutely. The fact is that Idris and I are bound in this shared relationship with this character and every TV we think it’s going to be the end, not least because Idris is very busy and has a successful career, but we always miss him when it’s over, and then I start coming up with ideas, and we always come back for more. For no other reason than we love doing it.”

And in terms of how the feature film might differ from the TV series, Cross could only say this: “I don’t know. It’s always going to be slightly different because of how long you have to tell a story. Ultimately, whatever Luther story you tell, in whatever medium, has to focus on that character, so in some ways it will be exactly the same because it will be about him.”

Cross doesn’t share any date expectations for the film unfortunately. But I would assume it would happen sometime in the next couple of years – at least soon after the upcoming season 5 which will debut in late 2018. He does say that series production is in prep right now, with additional casting underway, and a January shooting start scheduled.

The multi-award-winning crime drama series will be returning to BBC One in a new 4-part event written by Cross, and of course starring Elba, who has received a Golden Globe and Sag Award for his performance in the role of John Luther.

Cross doesn’t share what story season 5 will tell, or who the villain (or villains) will be. Although Hilary Salmon, BBC Studios Executive Producer, has promised that this time “we will be pulling out all the stops to make the show bigger, bolder and of course more scary than ever.”

Cross added: “What happened to John Luther after we last saw him striding unbowed through the streets of his city, his blood red London? It can’t be over, can it? There’s so much we don’t know. So much unfinished business. The thing is, we’ve been asking ourselves the same question. Because we love John and wonder what he’s up to. And as for me, I’m scared of the monsters. The face at the window. The hand under the bed. The shadow at the end of the street. Who’s going to stop them, if not John Luther?”

Who you gonna call?

Read the full Deadline interview here.

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