'Luther' Adds Major A-List Names To Netflix Movie

Idris Elba as DCI John Luther in 'Luther'
Idris Elba as DCI John Luther in 'Luther' (Image courtesy BBC America)

When we last checked in on the long-gestating Luther movie, the BBC had reportedly partnered up with Netflix to get the project off the ground. Now that partnership has officially taken off, with the film adding two prominent A-list names to the cast. Like the TV series, the movie will star Idris Elba as the famous red-tie-wearing copper. He'll be joined by two-time Academy Award nominee Cynthia Erivo (Widows) and the man who made motion capture performances a legit form of big-screen acting, Marvel star Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings).

A cult favorite that initially aired over here on BBC America before finding a broader audience on streaming when it moved to Netflix, Luther stars Elba as DCI John Luther. As a leading detective in the Serious and Serial Crime Unit, Luther specializes in psychopaths, sociopaths, and serial murderers in London. Hotheaded but dedicated, Luther is known to become obsessed with his cases, giving him a reputation for violent and unorthodox methods. The TV series began when Luther's obsession was returned by a psychopath he attempted to take down, Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson). They had a tumultuous on-and-off affair before she finally died at the end of Season 5.

The feature film, which Luther series creator Neil Cross wrote, is billed as "an epic continuation of the Luther saga," where "Luther will have to contend with a double threat." Erivo is described as playing "a detective who is also Luther's nemesis." Serkis is the story's criminal villain. Emmy nominee Jamie Payne, who directed Luther Season 5, will helm the project. So far, no other cast has been announced, either new faces or from the original series, but if the film follows the same pattern as the TV seasons, most of the main cast will be new.

Besides Elba and Wilson, few of Luther's main characters have consistently appeared across all five installments. The only character to survive the entire saga other than Luther himself is Luther's direct boss, Detective Superintendant Martin Schenk, played by Dermot Crowley. His character is probably a good bet to appear in the film. Like Luther's right-hand men DS Justin Ripley (Warren Brown) and DS Benny Silver (Michael Smiley), all other longtime characters have eventually been killed off. That's also been the fate of most of the new cast introduced in Season 5, including DS Catherine Halliday (Wunmi Mosaku), who Morgan took out in the finale.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the story, filming for Netflix's Luther feature film will begin in November 2021. No release date has been set yet, but with Netflix's newfound focus on releasing multiple feature films a month, sometimes to the tune of two a week, it's probably a good bet the movie will arrive sometime in the latter half of 2022.

Luther Seasons 1-5 are streaming on multiple services, including HBO Max, Hulu, and Starz via Amazon.

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