'Luther' showrunner in talks with BBC for project

“Luther” showrunner Neil Cross said he is in talks with the BBC to create a spinoff project that would be centered on the show’s serial killer character played by Ruth Wilson.

Wilson, whose Alice Morgan was the prime antagonist of the first season of the Emmy-nominated “Luther,” had to be written out of the later installments of the BBC-BBC America co-production because of scheduling conflicts, including film roles in “Anna Karenina” and “The Lone Ranger,” but could be brought back in for a showcase endeavor.

“The BBC is very interested in the project,” Cross told Variety. “The only real question would be how many and how often we would do it — whether it would be a one-off miniseries or a returning miniseries, a co-production or not.”

Cross called his vision for the Alice project a loose mix of “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “The Last Seduction.” Noting that “Luther” scripted Alice’s departure from the show’s London locale, Cross said he envisioned setting the spinoff in the U.S.

The Alice project would come in addition to a proposed “Luther” movie that would follow the miniseries’ third and final set of episodes, which will air on BBC America (which co-produces with the BBC) at a time to be determined.

“I think the first one would probably be a Luther-free zone, because their stories have diverged to a large extent, but there would be nothing to suggest they couldn’t come together again — either by this vehicle or a ‘Luther’ movie,” Cross added.

Taking “Luther” to the bigscreen is also more a matter of when than if, Cross said, “We’ve got lots and lots of movie interest, and Idris and I (are being) very careful about what kind of movie we choose to do.”

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