Is there a whisper in the wind? If so, it’s probably spreading gossip that Luther actor Idris Elba’s name has been linked to the role of 007 himself, James Bond, again. It’s a casting many fans have wanted to see for years now, especially with the constant rumours that Daniel Craig was done with the franchise after each film. After No Time to Die, it turns out he is finally done.
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Speaking to LADbible, James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli revealed discussions for the new 007 haven’t even started yet, and it might be some time before any casting news drops. Elba has also seemingly taken himself out of the running, too, stating the following at the World Government Summit recently, per HuffPost: “We’ve been working on the [Luther] television show for about 10 years and so the natural ambition is to take it to the big screen, and so we’re here with the first movie. You know, a lot of people talk about another character that begins with J and ends with B, but I’m not going to be that guy. I’m going to be John Luther. That’s who I am.” And it’s the right call.
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Luther is a better developed character than James Bond
Make no mistake about it, James Bond is the most famous spy in the world. Everyone knows about his penchant for action, adrenaline, fast cars, martinis (shaken not stirred), and women. Yet, that’s all there really is to the character. While the modern-day Bond films have tried to humanise the character through more backstory, he isn’t all that deep. He embarks on a mission, there’s a bit of turbulence that rocks the plans, but he wins in the end.
On the other hand, DCI John Luther is a complicated character. Yes, he bends the law and he doesn’t always do everything strictly by the book, but it comes from a place of compassion for other people. Luther is a smart man who understands the law doesn’t always favour the innocent, but he will do everything possible to bring about justice. More importantly, he fails – and he has failed many times before. This creates a more believable and well-rounded character for the audience to believe, as there is the possibility he won’t arrive before a bomb goes off, or that he will be able to save every victim. In turn, the failures also weigh down on Luther himself, who experiences self-doubt and questions his own abilities.
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Luther: The Fallen Sun allows for the building of a new franchise
For Idris Elba to become the next James Bond, he will be in a situation where the films will follow the same template as before. After all, they are money makers and popular around the globe, so why change it? While many people could argue that Bond created the blueprint for spy movies, it does feel as if 007 has been overtaken by the others he inspired. Calling the Bond films boring would be a lie, but there’s no denying the Bourne and Mission: Impossible franchises do the spy genre a little bit better now.
Luther is a crime-thriller franchise. Yet, it has more bite than the average run-of-the-mill James Patterson novels. The movie Luther: The Fallen Sun is a heart-stopping, anxiety-ridden affair that sees Andy Serkis play a better and more sinister version of The Batman‘s Riddler. There are real stakes in the story, and there’s a general element of uncertainty as Luther tries to put a stop to Serkis’ David Robey. Plus, Elba’s Luther puts up his dukes for gritty, realistic, and hard-hitting action scenes that must have been as punishing and gruelling to perform as they look.
As a franchise, Luther allows for Elba to explore a wider range of stories and possibilities. If The Fallen Sun proves to be a success, it could be the launchpad for further films down the line, as more seasons of the series appear unlikely with Elba’s rise as a film star. The best part? Luther has always been about a gripping story rather than expensive special effects, so the budgets won’t frighten away studios from producing several films and tempering box office expectations.
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The need for originality
While it’s understandable why most people would view Idris Elba as the perfect James Bond – and let’s be honest, he would be – there is a need for newer characters, such as John Luther, to be elevated to the same level as well. Whether it be in film, television, comics, or other mediums, society seems to be stuck in a cycle of wanting to see the same properties, like Bond or Batman, featured over and over again. In order for new characters and franchises to develop and grow, they need to be treated with the same respect and afforded the opportunity. As a Hollywood star, Elba doesn’t need Bond to elevate his profile; instead, he should put all that energy into making Luther something bigger and even better than what it is now.
Tell us, do you prefer Idris Elba’s John Luther over James Bond?