Fox had plans to adapt the hit BBC series, which features Idris Elba as its star, and bring the detective show to a major network in the U.S.
The only contingency for the Fox pickup was finding a winning cast for the show.
Unfortunately, it seems like show creators weren’t able to deliver on that promise.
With Elba at the head of the original Luther, there will certainly be a bit of pressure for whoever is tapped to take on the lead role for the show’s U.S. adaptation.
Elba won’t be acting in the U.S. version, but he is attached to the project as an executive producer while the show’s creator, Neil Cross, will be penning the adaptation, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Reports suggest that Marlon Wayans was considered as the show’s potential lead, but he was never confirmed for the role, sources told The Hollywood Reporter.
For many, the delay comes as no surprise.
A.V. Club described the casting troubles as “news that will make everyone who isn’t a Fox executive shrug and say, ‘Yeah, that sounds about right.’ ”
When it comes down to it, finding a lead who can follow the exemplary, award-winning performance of Elba is going to be a serious challenge.
“Of course, even with the show being pushed out of pilot season, this whole Luther thing assumes that there is another guy out there with the same amount of sex appeal and charisma as Idris Elba,” the A.V. Club added.
For now, Fox will be putting all casting decisions on hold in the midst of a very busy pilot season.
It’s a bit of a disappointment considering the wave of diverse pilots this season.
Fox’s Luther adaptation could have possibly joined Empire as another great success for the network that featured a Black lead.
Luther also marks the first project for this pilot season that has gotten the ax, although this holdup isn’t expected to be a permanent cancellation.
After all, there has to be someone who has the potential to fill Elba’s shoes.
Another project Elba is involved with is also seeing a bit of pushback.
Major U.S. cinemas revealed that they would be boycotting Elba’s Beasts of No Nation because of its deal with Netflix.
Netflix purchased exclusive distribution rights to the film, but now the film may never see a major cinematic release on the U.S.’s biggest screens.
AMC, Regal, Cinemark and Carmike will be boycotting the film, according to Variety.
The film is based on the best-selling novel by Uzodinma Iweala and stars Elba as a West African warlord who captures a child soldier.
Producers told Variety that they always felt the film would have better success in the digital space but want the movie to be screened in theaters so it will be eligible for major awards.
Meanwhile, Elba is connected to one other project that is moving ahead without any issue.
Elba is at the center of a new documentary by BAFTA-winning director Daniel Vernon, who followed the star on his emotional “journey of self-exploration” as he recorded his “mi Mandela” album back in 2013 and went to South Africa to film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
In addition to his creative projects, Elba is also dealing with the death of his father in the documentary.
The documentary is scheduled to premiere at London’s BFI on April 7 and will have a later date for cinematic release.