Idris Elba is a geek-favorite for his roles in Pacific Rim and the Thor movies, but he owes his Golden Globe win to his performance on the BBC TV series Luther. The show, which ran for three seasons, featured Elba in top form, playing DCI John Luther – a brilliant detective who must constantly do battle with real-life monsters (serial killers, cold-blooded murderers) while, at the same time, not allowing his own passion and emotional vulnerabilities to drive him over the edge.
Luther creator Neil Cross has previously spoken about possibly making a prequel movie for the series down the road, but as of right now that’s not happening. What is happening, however, is a remake of the Luther TV series for American viewers, with Cross once again serving as the crime drama’s head writer.
Variety is reporting that 20th Century Fox has a put pilot commitment to the Luther remake series, with Cross writing and Elba serving as one of the executive producers. However, Elba is not expected to reprise as Detective Luther on the new version of the show; it remains to be seen if the title character will be an American in this iteration, or if Luther 2.0 will go the Elementary route and maintain its protagonist’s traditional heritage, while having him traveling oversea to work in the States.
Fox recently remade the British crime show Broadchurch and had David Tennant reprise his role from the original series in the U.S. take (which was renamed Gracepoint); the latter has earned decent reviews on the whole, but hasn’t exactly been a huge ratings success for the network. That’s not stopping Fox from having a go at a different acclaimed British crime drama series, maybe in the hope of cornering the market on serial killer crime shows (between Luther 2.0 and The Following returning next year for season 3).
Elba’s performance as John Luther gave the original Luther TV series its heart and soul, but he didn’t work alone. The show also boasted strong performances all around, including by Warren Brown as DS Justin Ripley – who was John’s partner and would often represent his conscience in human form – in addition to Ruth Wilson (who’s now starring in Showtime’s The Affair), playing in the role of Luther’s brilliant, but twisted and dangerous “friend,” Alice Morgan.
Cross’ writing on the original Luther could be uneven at times, but his stories often featured antagonists and scenarios that’re far more terrifying than what your average horror TV show or movie has to offer. The combination of writing and acting was what made the BBC version of Luther special, so we’ll just have to wait and see if either Cross’ writing and/or the acting talent recruited for the remake will end up being as sharp by comparison.
We’ll keep you posted on development of the Luther remake series.