A sequel to the ever-popular Luther series, Luther: The Fallen Sun has been steadily ranking in Netflix’s top 10 since its release. Disgraced DCI John Luther (Idris Elba) opens the film in jail, but his services are needed once more when a deadly villain (played by Andy Serkis) begins manipulating the internet’s dark underbelly. While the series is usually tied to the rainy streets of London, The Fallen Sun widens the scope and even takes Luther to Iceland before the credits roll.
Jamie Payne wrote Luther: The Fallen Sun from a screenplay by series creator Neil Cross, and the duo’s affinity for the original show shines through. Fan-favorite characters such as Martin Schenk (Dermot Crowley) remain vital to the plot, but new faces include Cynthia Erivo as DCI Odette Raine, whose disdain for Luther’s methods is a familiar-yet-different twist on his usual interactions at the office. And while Alice (played throughout the series by Ruth Wilson) is never mentioned, the loss of her hangs heavy in Luther’s every scene.
Screen Rant spoke to Cross and Payne about stepping outside of London for the film, the inspiration behind Luther: The Fallen Sun‘s maniacal villain, and the potential whereabouts of Alice.
Neil Cross & Jamie Payne on Luther: The Fallen Sun
Screen Rant: The Fallen Sun takes Luthor out of London. Jamie, what was it like to approach scenes with a much wider scope, and a colder one at that?
Jamie Payne: You said Luther takes place in London, and I love it that you’ve developed a fond affection for Lutherland. But even though the length of story up to this point has taken place within a certain section of London, Lutherland itself is as big or as small as we want it to be. It’s the quality of the place that holds the story and makes it part of Lutherland or not.
I think [we loved] going from these shadowy, noir-filled streets full of secrets and lots of places to hide into a space where there is nowhere to hide, at this part of the story when there’s a lot of mistrust between Raine and Luther; where the both of them are so exposed. It was a new part of Lutherland to explore because of that, and it was a lot of fun to be in that landscape.
Robey is also fun, in a really nasty, horrible way. Neil, where in the deep recesses of your mind do you find the inspiration for your villains?
Neil Cross: He crawled out of the wet mess of my brain at four o’clock in the morning, when I wake up full of terror. That’s where these people come from. They crawl out of the wet mess behind my eyes and sit whispering on my shoulder for the next six months.
What I like about Robey is that he’s not a “tech villain.” He uses technology, but he uses technology as a means by which to express an essentially demonic nature. He could have been around in the music hall in the 1920s, or he could have been the character in folklore that you met while crossing on your way to market, who cut you a deal of some kind. He’s essentially a folkloric creature,
I loved the fight scenes throughout the film, especially in the second half. Jaime, was there any scene that was most challenging to shoot?
Jamie Payne: I think the Piccadilly Circus sequence was the most challenging, because it had a million different parts to it. But it’s also the most fun, because you read a sequence like that on the page, and then you add your own layer of ambition to it, and you get given the space to actually prep it and explore it. Who knew that the Westminster Council were going to give us Piccadilly Circus for that amount of time? They’ve never done it before.
It was extraordinary, after directing television for 20 years and developing a set of skills that allows, to actually unleash those skills and that ambition in the sequence like that. Yeah, that was extraordinary.
Neil, when Luther brings up his wife as someone he’s lost, one person who was not maybe mentioned was Alice. Where is Alice currently in Luther’s mind?
Screen Rant: She’s in the corner. She’s watching us right now. She knows we’re talking. Alice is a really important character to me. She’s real to me in a way, which I suspect, is not entirely healthy psychologically. I can tell you, for instance, she genuinely comments on the news as I’m watching it. Alice filters the news for me and, of course, she’s always around. I would love you guys to meet her again.
About Luther: The Fallen Sun
A serial killer terrorizes London while disgraced detective John Luther sits behind bars. Haunted by his failure to capture the cyber psychopath who now taunts him, Luther decides to break out of prison to finish the job by any means necessary.
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Luther: The Fallen Sun is currently streaming on Netflix.