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It’s a big week for fans of Idris Elba and Luther. On Wednesday, BBC America announced that the network will air a 2-part Luther miniseries that will hit the schedule in 2015. The popular detective drama is also being reworked in the United States as an adaptation with a put-pilot commitment over at Fox. Everything’s coming up Luther.
BBC America’s announcement doesn’t tell us much about the Luther miniseries. However, we do know that the two episodes will run for 60 minutes each. Creator Neil Cross is involved in the upcoming miniseries, serving as the writer and creator of the Luther update. Additionally, filming is expected to begin in March for a premiere later on in the year.
Interestingly, Neil Cross is also involved with the American adaptation of the one-hour drama, as well. According to The Wrap, he’s set to write and executive produce the project. Additionally, Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope, Jane Tranter, Julie Gardner and Elba will all executive produce. We don't know a ton about the adaptation, but it looks like a different cast will be involved, unlike Fox's other British adaptation, Gracepoint, which brought back Broadchurch lead David Tennant.
Luther starred Elba as a complex and brilliant Detective Chief Inspector who is haunted by the behaviors of the bad guys he chases. Early in Season 1, the detective stumbled upon a murderer so complex and careful, he wasn’t able to pin her down. They later became entangled both professionally and outside the job. The series lasted for three seasons and 14 episodes, which isn’t a lot. But during its three-season run, it still nabbed eight Emmy nominations.
Luther wrapped up its third series in July of 2013, after which Neil Cross stated the show would not be returning to the BBC (and in extension BBC America) for a fourth season. However, the cult-hit was well-liked during its release and has maintained a faithful following since Cross announced the show would not be returning to TV. It's not shocking that some sort of project has come out of all of that goodwill.
In fact, I’m not sure that anyone ever felt that Luther was totally dead in the water. Initially, Cross and Elba had plans to create a movie, which would have acted as a prequel to the series rather than an update. Sadly, that movie never came to fruition, and Elba moved on to other big screen projects while Ruth Wilson, who played Alice on the show, recently signed on for The Affair. Obviously, a lot of the people involved with Luther are busy now, which is probably why a 2-part miniseries feels so attractive.
Despite the fact that the American remake will likely feature a lot of the same looks and ideas as the British original, I think it’s safe to say that fans are more excited about the BBC America miniseries, as it should feature much of the original cast and crew.