Friday, July 16, 2010

BBC AMERICA announced a new U.S. premiere co-production: Luther, starring Idris Elba is a six-part, psychological thriller that takes a look at the crime genre. Elba is also Associate Producer on the project.

Elba, best known for his performance as drug kingpin Russell "Stringer" Bell in HBO’s The Wire or as the husband (to Beyonce) stalked by Ali Larter in Obsessed or as "Tango" in American Gangster, with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe or in the comedies This Christmas and Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls or as "Charles Miner," the hapless interim boss in the U.S. "The Office," now finds himself playing a character on the other side of the law.

In Luther, Elba 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 (The Prisoner, as well as the recent, beautiful adaptation of Jane Eyre; she was also excellent in the PBS' Masterpiece Theater Small Island), 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 (called Spooks in the U.K.), 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."

Cast includes: Ruth Wilson as Alice Morgan, beautiful, extraordinarily intelligent and a key witness in Luther's first investigation; Steven Mackintosh (Prick Up Your Ears, It's Different for Girls, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans [he was the bad guy among bad guys] and was quite good in the PBS' Our Mutual Friend) as Detective Chief Inspector Ian Reed and Luther's loyal friend and work colleague; Indira Varma (the beautiful actress from Rome, Bones' "Yanks in the U.K.," Bride and Prejudice) as Zoe Luther, who's had the strength to walk away from the man she still loves; Paul McGann (aka the 8th Dr. Who, Withnail and I, Queen of the Damned, 1986's miniseries Monocled Mutineer) as Mark North, unafraid to compete with Luther for Zoe's love; Saskia Reeves (Bodies, The Tesseract, Dune) as Detective Superintendent Rose Teller, Luther's risk-taking boss and Warren Brown (Andy Holt in Hollyoaks, Occupation) as Detective Sergeant Justin Ripley, Luther's loyal, awestruck new partner.

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 (the boss on Ugly Betty) and Come Dine With Me, a cooking show which follows amateur chefs competing for the title of the ultimate dinner party host.