Will Luther get a screen outing?
I've talked before about the possibility of a film version of the successful BBC television series Luther starring the excellent Idris Elba and adapted by Neil Cross from his own series of books. Now though it seems that the talk is escalating and Elba would be keen to take up the role again.
In March 2013 the author and writer of the successful book and television series revealed that there would be one last television series, a book and then a film, and that would be it for the character. Well we've seen the television series developed and delivered, and now it looks like the film might be coming. Maybe.
In fact it's more than just talk as Cross revealed at the Edinburgh Television Festival that the script was written.
"I've written the script and we hope to get the film made next year…Idris is a brilliant leading man and we've hoped to turn Luther into a movie for a long time."
He said "we". The BBC, who have the quotes, also have a quote or two from Idris Elba himself who seemed positive. Speaking at a recent BAFTA preview for Luther he said that the film was definitely a goal. He also said:
"We do want a new audience, but we also want to keep the fans interested, so we have to tread very carefully."
Cross has revealed some information about the film which will be a prequel to the television series:
"It will follow his career in the earlier days, when he is still married to Zoe, and the final scene in the film is the first of the initial TV series."
I have to admit that watching the end of the last series I was torn. I was disappointed at the choices that had been made and yet at the same time relieved that the story hadn't chosen an easy way out. Looking back on it now I have to admit that I'm carrying more love for the ending than if it had taken the perhaps more mainstream route.
That's a similar feeling to the one I'm having thinking about whether a Luther film should be a prequel or a sequel. I'd love to see what happens after the ending of the series and where the characters go from there but at the same time that series was so powerful and, at times shocking, I don't think that anymore could be gained from following them. In fact if they did I feel it wouldn't be a Luther story anymore and would become something very different.
So a prequel sounds a great idea and the fact that it would introduce us to the character and show us why he became who he is, is very appealing. With Neil Cross behind the script I'm even more interested, and don't get the idea that he's just a novelist who has adapted his own stories for television, in fact he's much more. He wrote the screenplay for Mama (Filmstalker Review) and according to his Wikipedia profile he was the uncredited "script doctor" on Pacific Rim and he's writing on a new The Day of the Triffids and At the Mountains of Madness. This guy is moving from the small screen to the big one with ease.
So is it too much to hope for a film version? Well Idris Elba would be on board too, and with the script there why wouldn't a studio snap it up?
Perhaps there is a problem. We've seen where the character went after this planned prequel so the studios would only see one film, not a franchise, and that's what they want more than anything. Plus it isn't a big blockbuster with 3D effects, unlike Pacific Rim Elba also starred in. This is a character driven, psychological thriller based in London which already has its future told.
Don't get me wrong, I want to see more of Luther and I want Elba to play him, but will we see it happen? Elba and Cross think so and he has a script to back that up as well as some growing clout in Hollywood.