US TV Plans New Luther

Loofah may get a makeover from Fox


US telly’s most recent attempt to adapt a UK series for its audiences – Fox mutating Broadchurch into Gracepoint – hasn’t yielded ratings gold so far, but that isn’t stopping anyone. The same network now wants Neil Cross and Idris Elba to have a crack at taking Luther Stateside too.

While detective dramas are a staple of crime shows on both sides of the pond, Loofah has always felt a little more cynically British in a way that might not always play in the States. And from the sounds of it, though he's a producer, Elba won’t actually be showing up on screen, so Luther’s growly style and shabby coats will be inhabited by someone else, which does give us pause.

Having Cross attached is more reason to be cheerful, although it prompts worries this will take time away from the plans for a film based on the original (not that Elba’s busy film career isn’t already a big enough spanner in those works). And it’s not even a guarantee of greatness, as having creator/writer Chris Chibnall overseeing an initially near identical version of Broadchurch (with David Tennant switching dialects to recreate his role) proved with Gracepoint.

Fox has apparently handed out a put-pilot commitment to the US version, which means it’ll get to decide whether anything moves forward from there. The history of UK-to-US adaptations is not exactly stuffed with success, but perhaps Loofah is tough enough to survive...