Andy Serkis on his Luther villain: "I don’t think I’ve come across anything quite as dark for a long time"

Luther: The Fallen Sun
(Image credit: Netflix)

A standalone film requires a standout villain, and Luther: The Fallen Sun has just that. Yes, Idris Elba’s former DCI has gone up against a number of memorable wrong’uns over the years, but the film will crank things up a notch.

The killer – who has had room to roam while Luther’s been banged up – is millionaire David Robey (Andy Serkis), a man tapping into zeitgeist fears of our tech spying on us and the potential of the dark web. Robey has tangled with Luther before and been ignored. Now he uses tech as surveillance, discovering secrets that enable him to manipulate others. "If you and I had a big secret that we want no one to know, he loves the idea that he can be like: 'I know what that is. Come over and do this for me,'" explains Elba in the new issue of Total Film (opens in new tab).

"Robey really just comes from this tension between morality and ethics," says Luther creator Neil Cross, admitting all his monsters are what he’s personally afraid of. "True morality is the kind of behavior that you exhibit when you know that nobody is watching. But we’ve ceded lots of that private behavior to the semi-private forum of the internet. The things of which we are ashamed, the things we think that we’re ashamed of thinking, people that would have lived isolated lives but possibly never expressing their desires or their anxieties – or their interests, shall we say? – they find communities. I’m terrified by the idea that somebody, in fact, is watching.

"But however broad our canvas is, it’s always going to be this very particular sense that the monster could be coming for you next. In a weirdly Freudian fashion, I’ve made up a modern, Arthurian knight-errant who can come along and slay these dragons for me."

Luther: The Fallen Sun

(Image credit: Netflix)

The team knew they needed an actor who could go toe-to-toe with Elba’s Luther as his adversary and sent the project to Andy Serkis to consider. "When I first read the script, I almost wanted to throw it in the bin and have a shower," Serkis tells Total Film (opens in new tab). "I don’t think I’ve come across anything quite as dark for a long time. And I thought: ‘In fact, do I really actually at this point in the world and time and my life, want to go down this particular rabbit hole of something that’s so hard to fathom in humanity?'"

Luther: The Fallen Sun hits Netflix in March 2023. For much more from Elba, Cross, director Jamie Payne, Serkis, and co-star 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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(Image credit: Total Film/Netflix/Paramount/Universal)
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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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