Idris Elba and the Luther team on adapting the TV show on a "much, much bigger scale" in The Fallen Sun

Luther: The Fallen Sun
(Image credit: Netflix)

The concept of a Luther movie has been discussed as far back as 2013, after the third season had aired, but there would be a further two series during the intervening decade before Idris Elba’s grizzled detective finally made the leap to a standalone feature.

Luther: The Fallen Sun – starring Elba, written by series creator Neil Cross, and directed by S5’s Jamie Payne – arrives on Netflix this year. The film sees the incarcerated Luther busting out of prison to track down a serial killer played by Andy Serkis.

"We always wanted to do it because I felt that there is a real treasure box of stories," Elba tells Total Film (opens in new tab) in the cover story of their upcoming issue. "For Neil and I it was like: ‘Wow, it’s one thing to be on TV…’ But we always knew that we could slow it all down, take the time to be filmic, and take the audience on a real, big journey."

"The trick of moving from a small screen to a big screen is to maintain the integrity and continuity of that character," says Cross. "Rather than: ‘What can we do with this bigger budget and this bigger scale?’ – it’s: ‘How would Luther react in this circumstance?’ So although we’re on a much, much bigger scale, which both of us find very exciting and satisfying, it’s still incredibly important to both of us that this is a story with Idris Elba’s Luther at the heart of it."

Luther: The Fallen Sun

(Image credit: Netflix)

While Luther amassed a lot of fans over its five-season run, Cross made sure to write for both fans and newbies alike as he conceived a big bad who could challenge the miffed former DCI. "It was important to all of us that we absolutely want to bring the fans along, and for them to know that this story sits within a canon of so many other stories," says Payne. "But also you could come at it not having seen a single episode of Luther, and absolutely know where you stood."

Luther: The Fallen Sun hits Netflix in March 2023. For much more from Elba, Cross, Payne, and co-stars Andy Serkis and Cynthia Erivo, pick up a copy of the new issue of Total Film (opens in new tab) when it his newsstands (real and digital) on Thursday, January 12. As well as Luther, there’s a ranking of the greatest screen detectives, features on Knock at the Cabin, Cocaine Bear, Magic Mike’s Last Dance, The Fabelmans, and much more.

Check out the covers below:

Total Film's Luther: The Fallen Sun covers

(Image credit: Netflix/Total Film)
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Editor-in-Chief, Total Film

Jane Crowther is the Editor of Total Film magazine and the Editor-in-Chief of the Film Group here at Future Plc, which covers Total Film, SFX, and numerous TV and women's interest brands. Jane is also the vice-chair of The Critics' Circle and a BAFTA member. You'll find Jane on GamesRadar+ exploring the biggest movies in the world and living up to her reputation as one of the most authoritative voices on film in the industry. 

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