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The network has handed out a hefty put-pilot commitment to Luther, an adaptation of the BBC’s Emmy-nominated drama series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Fox’s remake is based on the format created by Neil Cross and centers on John Luther (Idris Elba), a detective dedicated to solving crimes who finds his commitment to his duties both a blessing and a curse.
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Cross is on board to pen the script and executive produce the Fox take, which hails from 20th Century Fox Television, Chernin Entertainment and original producers BBC Worldwide Productions. Chernin’s Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope, BBC’s Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner and Elba are also attached to executive produce.
Elba, who has been nominated for three outstanding lead actor in a miniseries Emmy Awards for his part, is not currently slated to have an on-screen role.
Luther, which ran for three seasons and 14 total episodes from 2010-2013, netted Elba a Golden Globe win in 2011 as well as a pair of NAACP prizes. The series has also received eight Emmy nominations, including two for outstanding miniseries. Luther is also a critical favorite and one of the BBC’s highest-rated original series.
THR‘s chief TV critic Tim Goodman ranked Luther as the 19th-best cable drama of 2013. “In this third season, Luther was prone to more crazy twists than really necessary but otherwise had enough grit in the dialogue and more than enough material for Idris Elba to elevate with his magnificent acting and commanding presence,” he wrote.
Luther in February spawned a Russian remake for Channel One in BBC Worldwide’s first-ever deal for the format. The adaptation, called Klim, was picked up for eight episodes and is due to air in 2015.
The series also spawned a prequel novel, Cross’ The Calling, which tells the story of the events leading up to the start of the TV series.
The Fox remake comes after Cross has been public about wanting to create a feature film prequel of the series. “We do want a new audience, but we also want to keep the fans interested, so we have to tread very carefully,” Elba said of doing a Luther film.
Cross most recently exec produced and wrote NBC’s summer pirate drama Crossbones, starring John Malkovich. On the film side, Cross penned Universal horror feature Mama, which has grossed more than $146 million worldwide.
For Chernin, Luther brings to 10 the number of sales for the production company this season. The company has seven other sales at Fox this season, including Jason Richman‘s Nod, as well as an untitled comedy from Max Greenfield and Jenny Bicks, as well as Bad Friends at NBC and My Cousin Thor at CBS.
Cross is repped by UTA, Michael McCoy at Independent Talent Group in the U.K. and attorney Fred Toczek at Felker Toczek.
Luther comes as TV and feature remakes have been a major theme of the current development season. Certainly working in Fox’s favor is the name and brand recognition of the original series as well as the fact that its original creator is on board.
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