One of the most acclaimed British series of the last decade, BBC crime drama Luther, is getting a U.S. remake. Fox has given a rich put pilot commitment with a seven-figure penalty to the adaptation, which will be written/executive produced by the original series’ creator Neil Cross. The British series’ star, Idris Elba, is on board as executive producer. The project hails from 20th Century Fox TV, studio-based Chernin Entertainment and BBC Worldwide Prods. Also executive producing are the Chernin company’s Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope and BBC Worldwide Prods’ Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner.
Luther, which ran on BBC for three seasons, centered on John Luther (Elba), a near-genius murder detective whose brilliant mind can’t always save him from the dangerous violence of his passions. While opting to end the original series after a three-season, 14-episode run, Cross has left the door open for a Luther movie starring Elba.
The original Luther series, which aired in the U.S. on BBC America, earned eight Emmy nominations for best miniseries, best actor (Elba), and best writing/directing.
Fox has another drama about a brilliant, unorthodox detective based on a European property coming up in midseason, series Backstrom, an adaptation of Leif G. W. Persson’s books.
Remaking acclaimed British drama series by U.S. networks has proven tricky. Neither NBC’s Prime Suspect nor Fox’s Gracepoint — a U.S. version of ITV’s Broadchurch, which, like Luther, was adapted by original creator Chris Chibnall — have been able to gain much traction.
In TV, Cross recently created and executive produced NBC’s pirate drama Crossbones. On the feature side, he wrote the horror feature Mama for Universal. Cross is repped by UTA, Independent Talent Group in the UK and attorney Fred Toczek.