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‘There’s always temptation’: Luther creator says he almost brought back adored character in new movie

‘There’s always temptation’: Luther creator says he almost brought back adored character in new movie

Neil Cross has admitted that a well-loved series character almost returned in the Luther film.

The novelist and TV writer has created a Netflix movie based on the BBC series, titled Luther: The Fallen Sun, in which Luther is pitted against David Robey (Andy Serkis), a tech billionaire with deadly motives.

It’s the first Luther project since the fifth series in 2019, and is low on returning characters: the only other regular to appear is DSU Martin Schenk (Dermot Crowley).

However, in a new interview with The Independent, Cross opened up about the “temptation” he felt to bring back other characters in varying ways, including Ruth Wilson’s Alice Morgan.

“Alice is not in this film, but that's not a kind of an act of exclusion – it's a sin of omission,” he said. “If anything, it's not an attempt to prove anything.

“This film had to thread an incredibly difficult needle, which is to respect, acknowledge and entertain a returning fanbase, while at the same time inviting an audience who've never seen the show. And that took a lot of time, a lot of thought and a lot of work.”

He said that the show’s loyal fanbase “is incredibly important to him”, meaning “the temptation for fan service is always f***ing there”.

“I think it can be a bit meretricious,” Cross stated. “You know, it’s like, do we put Ripley [the deceased character played by Warren Brown] in a dream sequence? I’m always writing dream sequences with Ripley in them, because he’s alive to me. And I love Warren and I love that character.”

Warren Brown as Justin Ripley in ‘Luther’ (BBC)
Warren Brown as Justin Ripley in ‘Luther’ (BBC)

He said he ultimately decided against this, stating: “I was aware that if we did that, then the new audience might feel a bit excluded. We’re not the cool kids – we’re very welcoming. We don’t want to be the one saying you need to know the right lore to enjoy this world.”

Cross cryptically added: “That doesn’t mean if we continue that we might not meet some other people from the show”.

The showrunner also revealed he has “very little sense of Luther as a thing of the world” as he’s “never seen it on television” – save for one day he was channel hopping in a hotel.

“I accidentally caught the last episode of season one – the last 10 minutes – and I thought ‘Oh, this is actually quite good.’”

The Independent’s full interview with Cross will be available to read on Friday (10 March), when Luther: The Fallen Sun will be on Netflix. Find our review of the film here.