Idris Elba Hopes to Make a ‘Luther’ Movie Next Year

By August 28, 2013

Idris Elba

If you’re on the hunt for dark and gritty cop dramas, you don’t have to look too far. Since the days when Shawn Ryan’s “The Shield” aired on FX and had a massive impact on how cable series were made, there have been tons of cop shows that tried – with varying degrees of success – to capture an intense, realistic, and dramatic look at what it’s like to be a police officer. (I’d argue “The Wire” was the most realistic, but that’s a conversation for another time.)

From all accounts, the BBC series “Luther” is one of the best in the recent batch of police dramas. Idris Elba (Thor, Prometheus, “The Wire”) stars as Detective John Luther, a dark, obsessive cop who throws himself into his cases with reckless abandon. I haven’t had a chance to catch up with it yet (I know, I know – it’s on my list of things to watch), but the series has been getting rave reviews since it debuted in 2010 and Elba earned a Golden Globe for his performance at last year’s award ceremony. Why does any of this matter? Well, the show could be heading for the big screen.


THR brings word that series creator Neil Cross has written a screenplay for a Luther film, which would serve as a prequel set before the series takes place. The movie will shine a light on how the titular cop became the hardened soul he is in the series. Here’s where things get interesting: the last scene in the movie will be the same as the first scene in the TV show. I can’t think of any show-to-movie adaptation that has ever led so specifically back into the original series, so that’s a fascinating choice by Cross to structure the film that way.

Elba is on board with the concept, saying, “We do want a new audience, but we also want to keep the fans interested, so we have to tread very carefully.” The filmmakers are hoping to make the movie in 2014, and if they’re looking to make the story a prequel, they better hurry; Elba isn’t getting any younger, and convincing audiences this story takes place before the events of the show will only become tougher with the more time that passes between the third season’s (or “series,” as the British call them) end and the start of production on the film.

Are you a fan of “Luther”? Do you want to see a film version? Sound off below.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at,,,, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.