BBC AMERICA today announced its latest U.S. premiere co-production. Luther, starring Idris Elba (The Wire), is a smart, six-part, psychological thriller that takes a bold new look at the crime genre. Elba is also Associate Producer on the project.
Luther (6 x 60) is a BBC/BBC AMERICA co-production and is distributed by BBC Worldwide. It will air later this year on BBC AMERICA.
Idris Elba, best known for his performance as drug kingpin Russell “Stringer” Bell in HBO’s The Wire, now finds himself on the other side of the law. He plays John Luther, an intellectually brilliant but emotionally impulsive murder detective. He considers his profession a vocation rather than a job and it remains to be seen if he’s a force for good or a man hell bent on self-destruction. His confidante is also his arch-enemy Alice (Ruth Wilson, Jane Eyre), a beautiful multiple-murderess who evades his grasp early on, and with whom he becomes locked in a lethal battle of wits.
Luther is created and written by acclaimed suspense novelist, and one of the lead writers on MI-5, Neil Cross. He says: “I’m delighted that the BBC has brought Luther to life. It’s an intense psychological thriller which examines not only human depravity but the complex nature of love … and how it’s often this – our finest attribute – that leads us into darkness.”
Elba is joined by an all-star cast: Ruth Wilson (The Prisoner) is Alice Morgan, beautiful, extraordinarily intelligent and a key witness in Luther’s first investigation; Steven Mackintosh (Criminal Justice ) is Detective Chief Inspector Ian Reed and Luther’s loyal friend and work colleague; Indira Varma (Rome) is Zoe Luther, who’s had the strength to walk away from the man she still loves; Paul McGann (Withnail and I) is Mark North, unafraid to compete with Luther for Zoe’s love; Saskia Reeves (Bodies) is Detective Superintendent Rose Teller, Luther’s risk-taking boss and Warren Brown (Occupation) is Detective Sergeant Justin Ripley, Luther’s loyal, awestruck new partner.
The deal was brokered by Matt Forde, EVP BBC Worldwide Sales & Co-Productions with Chris Carr, COO, BBC Worldwide Channels and Richard De Croce, SVP Programming, BBC AMERICA.
Chris Carr says: “BBC AMERICA viewers have always loved British crime thrillers. Luther, puts a whole new spin on the genre and sucks you in with its intelligent storytelling and gripping plotlines. We’re thrilled to have Idris Elba on BBC AMERICA and intend to surprise a few people by revealing that he’s British!”
Luther, airing later this year, adds to BBC AMERICA’S new slate of co-productions recently announced including sci-fi thriller Outcasts starring Eric Mabius (Ugly Betty) and Come Dine With Me, a cooking show which follows amateur chefs competing for the title of the ultimate dinner party host.
BBC AMERICA brings audiences a new generation of award-winning television featuring news with a uniquely global perspective, provocative dramas, razor-sharp comedies, life-changing makeovers and a whole new world of nonfiction. BBC AMERICA pushes the boundaries to deliver high quality, highly addictive and eminently watchable programming to viewers who demand more. It is available on digital cable and satellite TV in more than 67 million homes.