Idris Elba is one of the few fortunate British actors who continues to see his popularity rise in both the UK and America. London born and bred, Elba has been the star of BBC One’s Luther since its debut in 2010. Before and especially after the series found its audience, Elba’s profile in America began to rise, aided in no small part by roles in The Wire, Pacific Rim as well as the up and coming Star Trek Beyond. His portrayal of Nelson Mandela in 2013’s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom saw him nominated for a Golden Globe award.
Throughout all this, the Luther fanbase has continued to grow, thanks in no small part to Netflix and its distribution of the series to a variety of global regions. Now a little more than two years since its last season, the series will return in the form of a one-night special very soon. In the meantime, BBC One has launched a teaser (see above) to whet the appetites of fans everywhere.
Elba recently spoke with Mirror about the Luther special and had this to say regarding season 3 (and Luther as a growing, evolving character)r:
“We’ve got a loyal and demanding audience, and the audience, [creator Neil Cross] and I were not satisfied with the ending of the last one. It felt like there were unanswered questions and we needed to conclude some stuff, maybe close down a chapter to open a new chapter and keep the story growing.
“We’ve evolved, the whole show seems to have grown a bit. There’s some progression in Luther’s life. That version of Luther had to go and stop – and now this version of Luther, who is slightly older and a little bit more smarter and wiser, this begins the birth of the next chapter.”
Elba also revealed that he’s up for taking the next step and turning Luther into a film.
“In our heads, this was the film – it’s two hours and it’s a pilot for the film. We would love to get a film off the ground but it takes time, and it’s really about when Neil and I are ready to pull that off.”
Luther follows English murder detective DCI John Luther (Elba), a brilliant and passionate man who often allows his passions get the better of him. The one-night special picks up with Luther having left the London police force and settled for the solitude of a cabin in the woods. This attempt at an idyllic retreat does not last of course, and Luther is drawn into a brutal case involving a cannibalistic serial killer. Despite previous reports of a three hour series opener, BBC One’s website maintains Luther is returning as a one-night special only right now.
There’s no question that as Elba’s notoriety continues to grow, more will be asked of him, particularly with Luther. Depending on the success of the one-night special, an eventual Luther film could still be on the table. After all, Elba’s cinematic appeal has grown enough that fans has been debating whether or not he should become the next James Bond after Daniel Craig steps down from the role. Regardless if anything comes of that, fans on either side of the pond have much to look forward to from this multifaceted talent.
The Luther Special premieres on BBC One and BBC America on December 17th, 2015.