Idris Elba on why the Luther – US remake didn’t happen

Luther season 5Remember the time when there was a planned US revival of Luther? It seems like forever ago, mostly because there was only a little bit of hype around the idea before it was completely shot down. Personally, we always thought it was a questionable idea because the original show was so popular in America and had a super-bankable star in Idris Elba at the center of it.

As it turns out, one of the things that kept a new version from happening is simply that the writers could figure out a good way to actually replace Elba for a US version. Speaking via Digital Spy, here’s what the actor (who had a behind-the-scenes role on the project) had to say:

“I was involved as a producer from a consultancy point of view, to make sure that if they did do it, that it was done properly … There’s a couple of reasons [why it didn’t happen]. One, if I’m really honest, was that they couldn’t find a John Luther. And two, it was really hard to find a city that felt as big as London, but also as intimate.”

Ultimately, Luther succeeds enough at this point that we have a hard time imagining that this sort of idea is even going to be brought up again. Most viewers are probably just going to be happy that there’s a version out there at all — plus, there’s a chance that Luther could become even more mainstream with there being some discussion out there about a movie. It’s something to watch out for in 2019 … though there’s a new season of the show itself coming before we even start to inch closer to that point. Luther season 5 is premiering on New Year’s Day in Great Britain and in early 2019 in the United States. That will at least tide everyone over. (Personally, we’d be fine if Luther just kept making more seasons rather than going the movie route, but we understand the appeal of seeing a character like this with a bigger budget.)

At this point, we really hope in general that there are fewer US remakes of UK shows unless they are really thought through or different from the original in a way that justifies their existence. Sure, we get some winners like The Office but more often than not, they are typical either disasters or just commercial disappointments.

Of course, we’ll keep you attune for some more updates on the future of Luther coming up — the apparent return of Alice Morgan is likely enough to tide everyone over until season 5 premieres.

What do you think — would you have ever considered watching a remake of Luther with someone who wasn’t Idris Elba? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: BBC.)

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!