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Luther creator Neil Cross says movie will be "bigger and better" but won't rule out TV return

Cross says a film budget means he and Idris Elba can "tell the kind of stories that we we've always wanted to be able to tell."

Published: Thursday, 3rd June 2021 at 3:39 pm

Luther creator Neil Cross has promised that the upcoming movie spin-off will be "bigger and better" than the original TV series, telling a story on "a wider canvas."

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A film version of the hit BBC drama has been discussed for several years, with star Idris Elba suggesting back in 2013 that the movie would adapt Cross's Luther novel The Calling - a prequel set before the first series.

However, writer Cross – speaking to RadioTimes.com to promote his Apple TV+ series The Mosquito Coast – revealed that the plan is now to focus on an original story featuring Elba's John Luther. "I was interested in in adapting the prequel, because I thought it'd be a cool way to [approach it]," he confirmed. "But, no, we're going to do something bigger and better."

Luther follows the exploits of its formidable title character as he goes up against deranged villains in contemporary London and has aired five series between 2010 and 2019.

Though Cross wouldn't rule out the possibility of a sixth series on television, he did say that the "bigger budget" of a film would allow the Luther universe to expand, while staying true to the feel of the TV show.

"I think the thing with Luther is never to rule out anything," he said. "All we've ever wanted to do is, within the parameters that we're given, make the best possible show.

Luther (BBC, EH)

"What we've been able to do [with the movie] – having delivered every episode of Luther on budgets which are comically small – is to have a wider canvas and a bigger budget to tell the kind of stories that we we've always wanted to be able to tell. And we've really been given the opportunity – while staying entirely true. I mean, Idris and I have shared this character for more than 10 years. And the key aspect of this whole conversation is primarily, how do we stay true to Luther?"

The fifth series of Luther closed with John's rival-turned-lover-turned-rival Alice (Ruth Wilson) apparently dead – for real this time, having previously faked her death – while John himself was arrested for his questionable conduct during his latest investigation.

Back in 2019, Elba told EW that he thought John's latest predicament was "a great setup for a movie.”

Luther meets Prison Break, on the big screen? Count us in.

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The Mosquito Coast is streaming now on Apple TV+ – visit our Drama hub for the latest news or find something to watch with our TV Guide.

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