Fox’s drama pilot Luther, a remake of the acclaimed British series, has been rolled and will be produced off-cycle. The project had a cast-contingent pilot order and the decision to push it beyond the traditional pilot season was made after difficulties casting the lead John Luther, played in the original series by Idris Elba — a near-genius murder detective whose brilliant mind can’t always save him from the dangerous violence of his passions. Elba is executive producing the U.S. remake, written/executive produced by the British series’ creator Neil Cross for 20th TV, studio-based Chernin Entertainment and BBC Worldwide Prods.
Casting American versions of iconic British series is tough, especially when the originals were toplined by actors who had been closely identified with the role, like Prime Suspect’s Helen Mirren and Luther‘s Elba. NBC also couldn’t cast its version of praised British drama Prime Suspect the first time around, rolling the pilot to the following cycle when Maria Bello was tapped for the part.