Luther creator Neil Cross confirmed prequel movie plans for the BBC series starring Idris Elba, saying he’d finish a screenplay and hopes to film next year. The film will follow Luther’s early career when he is still married to Zoe; the film’s final scene is the opening scene of the TV series first season, Cross said at the Edinburgh TV Festival, according to multiple press reports. “Idris is a brilliant leading man, and we’ve hoped to turn Luther into a movie for a long time,” Cross said.

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Elba is on board to play John Luther, as are Warren Brown, Indira Varma and Steve Mackintosh. Cross said he went with a prequel, rather than a follow-up to the series, so he could bring back popular supporting characters — including some who let’s say maybe don’t fare so well in the final season. Ruth Wilson’s Alice Morgan character, who doesn’t fit in, chronologically, with the prequel plans, is being mulled as a spinoff series, Cross told Variety last year.

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Elba, who starred in this summer’s Pacific Rim and is set to play Nelson Mandela in the upcoming Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, recently signed to star in Red Crown Productions’ Cary Fukunaga-helmed Beasts of No Nation, Deadline’s Michael Fleming Jr. reported. Elba will play the lead role of Commander in adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala’s best-selling novel, about the journey of a young boy, Agu, who, when civil war engulfs his West African country is forced to join a unit of mercenary fighters.

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