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Old December 4 2012, 01:08 AM   #1
Joel_Kirk
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"Luther" with Idris Elba

Idris Elba (next to Daniel Craig) is one of my favorite actors; I was highly impressed with the BBC series, “Luther” and “Luther 3”...and looking forward to "Luther 3" as well as the tentative film adaptation.

British television shows tend to have a bit more diversity, unconsciously, especially when dealing with actors of color, or even women. "Luther" definitely will not work on American network "telly" since 1. The writing is rarely that intense on American television. 2. The show stars a black actor, and American shows always have to make a big deal of the lead performer's racial background, especially if he or she is black (e.g. Star Trek franchise). 3. Luther has love interests that are Caucasian and Asian; American television usually feels that it is taboo for black individuals (particularly black men) to have a non-black love interest onscreen; but there are different standards if the lead was say, Asian female...since American television would usually pair that Asian female with a white male, and nothing would be made about their racial differences. Granted there are exceptions: "Private Practice" had Taye Diggs kissing a white actress passionately, and Taye Diggs in "Day Break" was dating a Asian (or more specifically, a Eurasian/Hapa/AmerAsian, depending on your term preference). "Doctor Who" is another example of a series that showcases different faces (e.g. black faces, black women with natural features: hair, complexions; black characters interacting with non-blacks - non-blacks not just meaning white individuals - in romantic situations. "Sarah Jane Adventures" was another show, like “Luther,” that probably wouldn’t have worked on American television; “Sarah Jane Adventures” showed a woman over 60 as a sexy, flawed, independent, and the show also had different faces/characters that got equal amount of focus(e.g. a black characters, Asian characters). Of course, if SJA was produced in America, we probably would have had Clyde - the black lead - pigeonholed to the background, Luke -the white male lead - made the focus of the show, Sarah Jane a cameo character even though the show bears her name, and Rani -the Asian female lead - Luke’s love interest. On the note of the character of Rani, her family was made into given three - dimensional characters, they’re people who could be flawed, sexy, etc.; and the Asian male supporting character (i.e. Rani’s father) wasn’t made to look weak, or get killed off, etc...he was “human.”***

I know Britain has their racial issues, but they definitely are a lot farther than America in showing people of color, or at least, black individuals. With that said, I’m aware that Idris Elba has been in talks with Barbara Brocolli to possibly portray Bond in future films; if that happens, that’ll be awesome. It was said in some articles online that Elba is hesitant because people will probably focus on his color rather than his skills than an actor. Still, someone has to do it, and I hope Elba will take the role if it is available and offered. (I just hope he gets the awesome scripts that Daniel Craig is getting...!)

Some British-isms I’ve learned or grown accustomed to after watching “Luther”:
  • “Ma’am” sounds like “Mom” with the English accent...ex: “Yes, Ma’am.” (Also heard in recent Bond films with Craig).
  • 999 is the British equivalent to 911.


My other favorite characters on “Luther” are Detective Ripley, and Alice. Both are somewhat “foils” to Luther, but also people who are his moral ground; although, with Alice that statement can go into a whole new argument. I understand that Sienna Guillory - Jill Valentine in the Resident Evil films - will be Elba’s love interest in the next Luther series as a new character, and I look forward to seeing how her characters handles the obsessed police detective’s attitude. (Note: I like the way “seasons” in England are referred to as “series”...)


I’ve just finished reading the prequel novel "Luther: The Calling." The novel further shows that John Luther is a flawed, slightly corrupted but at the same time moral person who is “interesting.” In some parts of the novel I found myself disliking Luther, but interested in how the character was going to solve the gruesome case. I also felt myself feeling more sorry for the wife, Zoe Luther.

***I do plan on reviewing the “Sarah Jane Adventures” once I review Star Trek: TOS, TAS, TNG 1st season; TNG’s “Data’s Day,” and ENT episode “E2” and the ENT 4th season. I will definitely get into why the series - “Sarah Jane Adventures” - won’t work in America due to American stereotypes/standards of gender, race, etc...
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Old December 4 2012, 04:09 AM   #2
Tom Hendricks
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Re: "Luther" with Idris Elba

While I think Idris Elba would make an excellent Bond. However, if they did in fact decide to cast an black actor, I would prefer Chiwetel Ejiofor. Beyond quibbling over any casting, I would really like to see this happen.
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Old December 4 2012, 06:00 PM   #3
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Re: "Luther" with Idris Elba

Series 3 of Luther is currently in production and will be aired, in the UK that is, next year. I've enjoyed the first 2 series, I will probably watch them again before series 3.
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Old December 4 2012, 06:25 PM   #4
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Re: "Luther" with Idris Elba

Stuff you probably know already, Joel, but Elba, like many black British actors, had to become a name in US tv show/film before getting that lead BBC role. Lennie James also springs to mind. There might be exceptions, and yeah, they did UK stuff before (you should check out vampire drama Ultraviolet), but the bandwagon seems to roll once they get that US hit.

Luther's also interesting as it seems on surface a conventional urban British cop/detective series, but imo is closer to Life On Mars as a slightly bonkers psycho-drama. At least that's the only way it works for me
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Old December 4 2012, 07:53 PM   #5
Mister Fandango
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Re: "Luther" with Idris Elba

What's with all the assumed racism by American audiences?! Most of the crap you talk about in the original post hasn't been even remotely accurate for more than a decade now. At least.
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Old December 4 2012, 08:38 PM   #6
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Re: "Luther" with Idris Elba

The show is awesome and I'd love to see Idris Elba as a hardcore, badass Doctor (Doctor Who)

Mister Fandango wrote: View Post
What's with all the assumed racism by American audiences?! Most of the crap you talk about in the original post hasn't been even remotely accurate for more than a decade now. At least.
Yeah, really.
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Old December 6 2012, 05:46 AM   #7
Joel_Kirk
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Re: "Luther" with Idris Elba

Mister Fandango wrote: View Post
What's with all the assumed racism by American audiences?! Most of the crap you talk about in the original post hasn't been even remotely accurate for more than a decade now. At least.
Well, most of the "crap" is stuff I personally experienced or observed recently, 2012, 2011...in America. So, unfortunately, we still have a ways to go.

Anywho...

I'm liking some of the other comments.

Sandy Claws, Chiwetal Ejiofor as Bond?

Hmmm....he's a good actor, definitely, but I've pictured him as a Doctor Who type...but, I don't know. If his name did come up, and he won the role, I would be open to seeing how he takes on the role.

jinglebellrok, it's interesting you mention that because I read online that actress Naomi Harris actually thought Elba was an American actor!

We shall see what the future brings, I guess.

(My post is a reminder I need to see Skyfall, in IMAX, once time frees up.... Yes, I need a dose of Daniel Craig awesomeness once again...)
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Old December 6 2012, 12:15 PM   #8
lurok
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Re: "Luther" with Idris Elba

Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post
it's interesting you mention that because I read online that actress Naomi Harris actually thought Elba was an American actor!
Quite a few people think Marianne Jean-Baptiste is too because she's appeared more on Without A Trace than UK tv (and is in Robocop reboot I read somewhere)

I think Patterson Joseph has been more talked-up than Elba as potential Doc, maybe because has comedy chops as well.
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Old December 6 2012, 12:45 PM   #9
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Re: "Luther" with Idris Elba

I'd still argue Elba is too old to be Bond, or at least will be by the time Daniel Craig hangs up his PPK.
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Old December 6 2012, 10:16 PM   #10
auntiehill
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Re: "Luther" with Idris Elba

Idris Elba is 4 years younger than Craig. He's not too old.
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Old December 6 2012, 11:31 PM   #11
Harvey
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Re: "Luther" with Idris Elba

Idris Elba is 40. Daniel Craig won't finish his last film in the series for another 4-8 years. He might be young enough for a trilogy of movies now, but he won't be young enough to headline a continuing series by the time Craig leaves the role. (Unless the producers are interested in an older Bond -- but, if they were, you'd think they would just stick with Craig).
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Old December 7 2012, 09:52 AM   #12
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Re: "Luther" with Idris Elba

^ Exactly. If Daniel Craig were to retire right now you're still looking at 2 years before the next film, which would make Elba comparable age wise with Dalton/Brosnan when they debuted, but that relies on either Craig wanting to leave now, or the producers wanting him out, and neither seems likely. Even if Craig just did one more film (let alone two) by the time Elba donned a dinner jacket he'd be the oldest Bond debutant since Roger Moore

He's in good shape, and I suspect he won't start to show his age any time soon, but you have to consider longevity in the role, you don't want someone who's only gonna do two films, you want someone who will ideally be 007 for close to a decade.
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Old December 7 2012, 10:03 AM   #13
Deckerd
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Re: "Luther" with Idris Elba

It's different from most cop shows because Luther is borderline crazy. I don't mean Lethal Weapon comic crazy, but oh my god what the hell is he doing? crazy. It keeps you jumpy all the way through.
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