Pilot Scoop: Fox Orders Luther Adaptation, Frankenstein Update

Luther Pilot Order Fox

Undeterred by Gracepoint‘s demise, Fox has ordered a cast-contingent pilot based on the BBC drama Luther, as well as a modern riff on Frankenstein, TVLine has learned.

The Luther adaptation will be written and executive-produced by Neil Cross, who created the original series.

The project — which also counts UK star Idris Elba among its EPs — centers on John Luther, a near-genius murder detective whose brilliant mind can’t always save him from the dangerous violence of his passions.

Meanwhile, Frankenstein — from writer Rand Ravich (Life) and executive producer Howard Gordon (Homeland) — follows Ray Pritchard, a morally corrupt, retired cop who is given a second chance at life when he is brought back from the dead. Now younger and stronger, he will have to choose between old temptations and a new sense of purpose.

Other pilots ordered by Fox include Rosewood, a drama about an elite Miami pathologist who works with a cynical female detective, and 48 Hours ’Til Monday, a single-camera comedy about a husband’s struggle to avoid disastrous weekends.

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  1. William says:

    What about the Archie adaptation? I’m crossing my fingers for that project to get picked up because it sounds interesting.

  2. rinaex says:

    I hope Frankenstein makes it to series!

  3. Molly says:

    If Fox could just leave my awesome BBC shows alone, that would be great.

  4. David4 says:

    Why are they remaking an English show that’s still on TV? Didn’t they learn anything from Broadwood or whatever it was called.

    • Marc says:

      Because even though there is a long list of failures like Gracepoint, Low Winter Sun, Amanda’s, Cracker, and Prime Suspect (which felt like a bad remake not of its namesake but NYPD), All in the Family, Sanford and Son, and House of Cards all succeeded. Veep is a great American take on Thick if It. The US version of The Office was pretty great, as was Law & Order: UK, for that matter. It can be done. It just probably won’t.

    • It’s worked enough times (House of Cards and The Office come to mind) that networks will usually give it a go with anything that’s popular overseas. Hell Deal or No Deal originated in the Netherlands I believe.

    • Et al says:

      They are defining insanity.

  5. B says:

    while I find it a bit find it odd that fox is remaking shows that are already in english I think my biggest gripe is that unlike the office remake these shows seem to have too much similarity to their original counterparts e.g. same lead, and in the case of broadchurch/gracepoint an almost scene for scene copy with the first couple episodes

    • rarefied says:

      Actually, the first season of the Office was pretty much a verbatim copy of the UK version – it didn’t really develop into its own thing until S2 on.

      • Kat says:

        I get the impression that would have happened with Gracepoint had it gotten a second run. The bigger issue with Gracepoint is that Fox doesn’t know how to market their own crap for JACK. They called Gracepoint a “ten episode event” instead of just saying it was a show and just running it the 10 episodes. But, yeah, having a scene for scene remake is not in itself what will ruin a show like that. Gracepoint still had better ratings than any non-big-3 network show. It was up against tough competition on a channel notorious for not knowing how to be consistent. *Sigh*

      • jj says:

        don’t know if I agree with that, while the pilot was pretty much a verbatim copy of the uk version the tone was noticeably different (likely due to having a different lead). While Gervais played more of a bumbling clown, Carrell was more of a slimeball

  6. Gonna need one hell of an actor to be their Luther, plus Fox will almost certainly require a lot more episodes (be interesting if they went for the same amount as the original) so they’ll need to avoid having the material feel stale with so much of it. Not being a shot for shot remake would also help. Not insurmountable odds though.

    • B says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if idris elba carries on the lead, and they recast the other roles

      • johnhelvete says:

        Idris Elba is not going to do a procedural on FOX, which is what this remake/adaptation is likely going to end up being. He will gladly cash his check for being an EP on the show if it goes to series.

  7. Viv says:

    Honestly: I hope it fails ratings-wise. Just because I´m annoyed of this habbit to remake and adapt or whatever British shows…

  8. jax says:

    There is only one Luther – Idris Elba. WHY try to do what has been done so well already?

  9. DL says:

    This Luther adaptation I just don’t get. The first series of the show, in my opinion, was by far the best — a brilliant bit of television — which was as much due to Idris Elba’s fantastic performance as it was Ruth Wilson’s as Alice Morgan. Yet, inexplicably, Cross wrote Wilson out of much of the subsequent two series. And while the Luther character continued to be interesting, it was the dynamic between that character and Wilson’s Alice that made me love the show in the first place, and having abandoned that, I couldn’t muster the same affection.
    The fact that Neil Cross is writing and EPing this version, as well, after basically writing off my favorite character in the British series, does not encourage me to watch this version. At all.

    • ComeOn says:

      Well here’s hoping the BBC 2 parts special in 2016 will be all about Luther and Alice. And none of those damsels in distress that Luther thinks he loves.

    • Mara says:

      Yes! Agree whole heartedly.

    • Totally agree. Wilson was the best thing about the show, and I lost interest after she basically left in Season 2. I liked Idris Elba as Luther, and he was good, but there were thin plots, and not a lot to follow post Wilson. I also can’t really see anyone else play Luther, as Elba was basically playing what seemed to be himself as a detective. It was too much of a fit for someone else to come in and play. I just can’t see this being good at all.

  10. Ray (the other one) says:

    Frankenstein sounds a bit like ABC’s Forever. How about some ingenuity??

  11. Alisa says:

    Luther is a great show like it is. Every time the US does this they ruin it. Are they really so brain dead in Hollywood they can’t come up with an original idea. Geez, all they are doing now is cartoons come to life.

  12. Jooshua says:

    If they get Hugh Laurie, and keep his accent. That could be interesting.

  13. Ellinas1978 says:

    Ruining another great British show. Luther without Idris Elba, is pointless.

  14. Lizo says:

    I’d love to see a Frankenstien adaptation that stays true to the source material but does it in a modern way. All these recent adaptations seem to completely miss the point of the original story and go for the ‘generic hot man with rage issues’ story.

  15. ? says:

    Luther worked for exactly two reasons: Idris Elba, and the character’s fascinating hatred/friendship/weird-gray-area relationship with Ruth Wilson’s Alice. Neither of those elements are going to be easy to replicate on an American broadcast drama . . . this has disaster written all over it. It’s so painfully obvious. Everyone who’s seen the show understands this. So why can’t Fox? I’ll never understand such decisions.

  16. meatwad says:

    i can’t wait to see how badly Fox screws up this great show

  17. Mickey says:

    Why oh why must American television studios adapt English speaking shows (particularly the UK and Australian ones). The transference from the original nation to the US formats, for some reason loses the original resonance of what made the shows such hits in their home countries. Is this just studio people getting involved in creative decisions or what? An example of the shows include: Kath & Kim, Gavin & Stacey, Skins, Being Human, Rake, Broadchurch. I don’t hold out much hope for The Slap and now Luther. Just stop messing with the original content and purchase it like the rest of the world does – not hard.

  18. Zoe says:

    Just get Idris Elba to star in the American version of Luther, and I’m there.