'Luther' finale: Creator Neil Cross on that final moment

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Image Credit: Robert Viglasky/BBC America

Spoiler alert! If you haven’t watched the Luther season (series?) finale, stop reading now.

In the final moment, Luther (Idris Elba) met back up with Alice (Ruth Wilson), who’d returned to save both him and, reluctantly, Mary (who’d ultimately let Alice escape and broke up with Luther for good). Standing on a bridge, Alice convinced Luther to chuck his trademark coat off of it. “Without any design on my part, or Idris’ part, or even the costume department’s part to be honest, the coat kinda became iconic,” creator Neil Cross tells EW. ” I’d written very early in the first season that he never changes his clothes. It’s not that he’s wearing the same shirt day in, day out. He just does a thing that Albert Einstein used to do, which is just buy multiple copies of the same item. The idea is that the character has just got too much going on in his head to worry about what he’s gonna wear or indeed what car he drives, hence the thousand-year old Volvo that he kinda putts around in. So what started as a character grace note — and a nod to Columbo as well, because I’m a very big Columbo fan — came to symbolize the character and the character’s relationship with his job. So that final moment is a nod to the audience and, in a symbolic way, saying he’s shrugging off what he is — for the moment.”

What does that mean? “I don’t think Alice and Luther’s story is over. Which by definition means I can’t even give you so much as a hint,” Cross says, with a laugh. Did that moment mean their relationship would become romantic (or, at least, sexual)? “As I said, even a hint would spoil it.”

Both Cross and Elba have been open about the fact that they want to take Luther to the big screen. “There’s literally no news to report except we really want to do it. And we’ve got lots of avenues that would allow us to do it,” Cross says. In a recent conference call with reporters, Elba suggested a couple: “I think the origin story is a classic superhero-type set-up, and I’ve always likened Luther to a superhero just because, as television makers, we bend the rules so much. And so, yes, it would be interesting to understand where that came from and how do we end up in that first episode of Season 1 — that would be great and really exciting. But then, beyond that, [also] to pick up after Season 3 and figure out what happens next.”

Could we see Luther back on TV? “Well, I think both Neil and I would consider it if you could get David Bowie to come and score the next season,” Elba said. “If you can do that, I think Neil and I would be writing straightaway.” We’re not sure what it would take to get the Wire star to do another American TV show, but he’s open to it. “You know, television for me is a medium that I’m probably always going to be attached to one way or another. My film career has been very kind to me, and I’m building in that world, but honestly, my biggest challenges so far have been in television,” he said. “So I definitely would like to see myself back on a great American TV show again.” We hope FX president John Landgraf is dialing.


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