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Luther Season 6 release date, cast and plot theories — return may be movie, will Luther go to prison?

Luther Season 6. Idris Elba as DCI John Luther
Will Luther Season 6 happ, or will a movie be made instead? Pic credit: BBC

Fans are eagerly anticipating Luther Season 6 and asking what is next for Idris Elba’s DCI John Luther after Season 5, which premiered on New Year’s Day, ended on January 4, 2019.

Fans had to wait three years after Luther Season 4 ended in December 2015 before the BBC announced the return of the series for a four-episode Season 5.

They aired on four consecutive nights from January 1 to January 4. The season ended with a cliffhanger after the shocking deaths of two main characters.

Luther was arrested and led away in handcuffs, apparently prison bound.

After following Season 5 of the suspenseful crime drama glued to their seats, fans are keen for the next installment of the BBC crime series and are asking whether there will be Luther Season 6.

The anxiety among fans about the future of Luther is partly due to recent statements by showrunner Neil Cross and lead actor Idris Elba about what is next for the series.

What is next for Luther after Season 5? Will there be Luther Season 6 or a Luther movie? How long will we have to wait for Luther Season 6 or the movie to come out? Who are the returning cast members? What can we expect of Luther Season 6 if it happens? Will Luther go to prison?

These are some of the questions that fans desperately need answers to.

We bring you everything you need to know about the highly-anticipated Luther Season 6, including potential return date, returning cast, and plot.

Will Luther Season 6 happen?

Luther Season 6 Idris Elba
Fans are eagerly anticipating Luther Season 6. Pic credit: BBC

So far the BBC has not officially confirmed that Idris Elba will return anytime soon to our TV screens as DCI John Luther. Instead of suggesting a return to the small screen, actor Elba’s recent comments appear to suggest that the next step for Luther is the big screen.

Empireonline reported in November 2018 that Elba revealed in an interview for the magazine’s January 2019 issue that Season 5 was not the end of the line for DCI Luther and that he will be back. But he warned fans to expect big changes.

“This season [Season 5] is not the end,” he told Empire. “But there are some real changes that will happen.”

However, Empire noted that Elba avoided saying whether fans should expect Luther Season 6 or a Luther movie to follow Season 5.

He only noted that “Our ambition [for a movie] is it falls on the scale of Seven.”

But Elba spoke more explicitly about a big screen future for Luther in a recent interview with Radio Times. In the interview that apparently took place before the premiere of Season 5, Elba insisted that the next step for Luther is a movie.

“I don’t think we’re going to do too many TV versions of it; I think the next step is to make a film,” he said.

“We’ve got a skeleton of an idea for a film,” Elba continued, according to Radio Times. “And I’m not allowed to say too much but I can say that this season [Season 5] has the film very much in its sights. If there is a film, then it will be somehow connected to this season.”

Based on Luther’s comments in the interview with Radio Times, it seems justified to conclude that a movie is likely to come after Season 5.

But some fans have rightly pointed out that the Radio Times interview was not the first time that Elba or showrunner Neil Cross had said the TV series was ending and that they were planning for a Luther movie instead.

Elba and series creator Neil Cross have been talking about their plans for a one-off Luther movie special since 2011, but the much-talked about movie has not happened so far.

For instance, after Luther Season 3 ended in July 2013, Cross insisted that the series had ended and that the next step for Luther was a movie spin-off.

But the series eventually returned for Season 4 in December 2015.

Many fans are hinging their hopes for Luther Season 6 on such past talk about ending the Luther TV series for a movie spinoff that never materialized. According to some fans, Luther might still return for Season 6 despite Elba’s latest comments about a planned movie.

Luther Season 6 DCI John Luther
Luther Season 6 might still happen. Pic credit: BBC

After revealing to Empire that “there are some real changes” ahead for Luther after Season 5, Elba went on to say that “Our ambition is it falls on the scale of Seven.”

There was initially confusion over what Elba meant by “scale of Seven.” Some fans mistakenly thought that Elba meant they were planning to continue the Luther TV until Season 7 before making the film. But others rightly pointed out that Elba was talking about the planned Luther movie and comparing it to the 1995 neo-noir crime thriller Seven (Se7en), written by Andrew Kevin, directed by David Fincher, and starring Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kevin Spacey.

“Luther has all the ingredients to echo those classic films of the ’90s,” Digital Spy later reported that Elba said. “Essentially we want to take it to a much bigger audience, and scale.”

“Idris is [now] a big enough name to carry a film,” Dermot Crowley, who plays Luther’s boss DSU Martin Schenk, reportedly said. “I think the time is right for [a film] and I would love to be part of it.”

Digital Spy reported that Elba also named Along Came a Spider (2001) among the inspirations for the planned Luther movie.

Thus, when Elba said “Our ambition is it falls on the scale of Seven,” he meant that the showrunners were hoping that their planned Luther film would replicate the “scale of [the movie] Seven,” which followed Detectives David Mills (Brad Pitt) and William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) hunting down a mysterious serial killer (Kevin Spacey).

Luther Season 6: Fan theories

DCI John Luther
Luther Season 6: Idris Elba tells fans to expect a Luther movie. Pic credit: BBC

But even after admitting that Elba never said that the Luther TV series will continue until Season 7, some die-hard fans analyzed Elba’s recent comments and concluded that he actually also never said that Luther Season 5 was the last installment of the TV series.

Many fans insisted that Elba’s comments during the interview with Empire could be understood to mean that there will Luther Season 6 as well as a Luther movie. The suggestion appears to be partly supported by Empireonline’s admission that Elba did not say “whether the next outing [after Season 5] will take the form of another series, or that long talked-of Luther movie.”

Fans hoping for Luther Season 6 also argued that a Luther movie and Luther Season 6 need not be mutually exclusive alternatives for the producers. According to some fans, Elba’s statement in the interview with Radio Times that “I don’t think we’re going to do too many TV versions of it; I think the next step is to make a film,” does not necessarily exclude the possibility of Luther returning for Season 6 except if we consider that five seasons are “too many TV versions” of Luther.

And although Luther said in the Radio Times interview that Season 5 “has the film very much in its sights,” his subsequent qualified statement that “IF there is a film, then it will be somehow connected to this season,” suggested to some fans that he was not certain that a Luther movie was coming after Season 5.

Luther Season 6
Luther Season 6 or Luther: The Movie? Fans debate. Pic credit: BBC

The gritty, suspense-filled Luther Season 5 ended on a cliffhanger that left the possibility of Luther Season 6 wide open. But immediately after the end of the season finale, many fans took to social media to point out what they believed were elements of the ending that the showrunners contrived to indicate to discerning fans that the series had wrapped up.

In the closing scenes of the Season 5 finale, after Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) shoots and kills Sgt. Catherine Halliday (Wunmi Mosaku), Luther confronts her in a shootout. After she appears to have run out of bullets, Luther pleads with her to give herself up, but in an unexpected shocking twist, Alice falls from the top of the scaffolding to her death despite Luther’s last ditch effort to save her.

As Luther stares down at Alice’s lifeless body in shock, Martin Schenk (Dermot Crowley) and his men arrive. They handcuff Luther and place him under arrest, with Schenk clearly heartbroken by the turn of events.

Fans took to social media and Reddit to discuss and debate the implications of the ending for the future of the series.

Many Twitter fans pointed out that the Season 5 finale ended in exactly the same way as the series began. Luther fans will recall that in Season 1, episode 1 of the series, Luther is arrested on suspicion that he attempted to murder Henry Madsen who fell to his death after he tried to attack Luther armed with a pipe.

https://twitter.com/MrsHPoirot/status/1081311642548400128
https://twitter.com/BigWezza/status/1081310433036943360

According to a fan theory, the showrunners ended the Season 5 finale in a way that recalled the first episode of Season 1 to signal to discerning viewers that the TV series had come full circle and that Luther was heading to the big screen.

But the ambiguity of the ending also obviously left open the possibility of Luther Season 6 should the showrunners change their minds about following up Season 5 with a movie.

Luther Season 6 or Luther: The Movie? What we know so far

Luther Season 6. Idris Elba
Luther Season 6. Pic credit: BBC

The only thing certain at the moment is that Luther is returning. What is uncertain is whether he is returning after Season 5 for Luther Season 6 or Luther: The Movie.

Although Luther Season 5 was a ratings success, the BBC has so far not hinted at Luther’s return for yet another season.

Going by Elba’s recent comments alone, some fans have concluded that we are getting a Luther movie next instead of Luther Season 6. But as we have already noted, this is not the first time that the showrunners have said they were ending the series and making a Luther movie only to end up returning with yet another season of the TV series.

So the possibility of the return of Luther for Season 6 is still open.

And even if a movie comes after Season 5 it would still be possible to reboot the TV series in the aftermath of a successful movie.

This means that Luther Season 6 might eventually happen regardless of whether we get a movie or not. But because there is no official word yet on what is next fans can only speculate.

When will Luther return?

Luther Season 6. Ruth Wilson as Alice Morgan
Luther Season 6. Pic credit: BBC

Regardless of whether we get Luther Season 6 or Luther: The Movie, Idris Elba’s return as DCI Luther is way off and fans have no choice but to resign themselves to an inevitable long wait.

It took a little over three years for the series to return for Season 5 after Season 4 ended in December 2015. Similarly, it took nearly two-and-a-half years for the series to return for Season 4 after Season 3 ended in July 2013.

So if Luther Season 6 gets the go-ahead, it is unlikely to come out before 2021/2022.

Since each of the last three seasons of Luther have come out in a different month and day, it is impossible to guess the exact date Luther is likely to return for Season 6.

It is even more difficult to guess when a movie will come out if that is the plan.

Meanwhile, some fans are expressing concern about Elba’s graying as the Luther season renewals drag out painfully.

But while we await updates on the status of the series, all the previous five seasons are available to watch on BBC’s iPlayer streaming service.

Luther TV series: Overview

Luther Season 6 DCI John Luther
Luther is a British crime drama series that stars Idris Elba as DCI John Luther. Pic credit: BBC

Luther is a British crime drama series, starring Idris Elba in the title role of DCI John Luther.

The series, written by Neil Cross, is widely considered to be influenced by Sherlock Holmes and Columbo (TV series 1971-2003). Luther’s ability to solve crime puzzles is compared with Holmes’. The series’ use of the inverted detective story format is believed to have been inspired by Columbo.

Elba’s reference — during the interview with Empire- — to David Fincher’s 1995 neo-noir crime thriller Se7en, gives a hint of the previous productions that influenced Cross’s Luther Series. Besides Se7en, many observers have noted the influence of other Hollywood thrillers and horrors on Cross’s style.

Besides Sherlock Holmes, Columbo, and Along Came a Spider, previous productions that have been mentioned as having an influence on Luther include The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

The series, by BBC Drama Productions, first aired in May 2010. The six-episode Luther Season 1 premiered on BBC One on May 10, 2010, and ended on June 8.

The four-episode Season 2 premiered on June 14, 2011, and ended on July 5, 2011. The premiere and finale episodes of Season 3 and Season 4 aired in July 2013 and December 2015, respectively.

Luther Season 6
The BBC’s Luther is inspired by the 1995 crime thriller Se7en. Pic credit: BBC

Luther Season 5 premiered on New Year’s Day and all four episodes were broadcast over four consecutive days ending on January 4.

Luther Season 1 debuted in the U.S. on BBC America on October 17, 2010, while Season 2 debuted on BBC America on September 29, 2011.

The series has received favorable critical reviews and audience response. On Rotten Tomatoes, Luther Season 1 earned a 91% approval rating based on 22 reviews, while Season 2 earned a 100% approval rating based on 12 reviews. Seasons 3 and 4 earned 84% and 79% approval ratings based on 19 and 14 critical reviews respectively.

On Metacritic, Luther Season 1 earned a “generally favorable” Metascore of 83 based on 11 critical reviews. Season 2 earned a “generally favorable” Metascore of 78 based on 9 critical reviews, while Season 3 scored 76% based on 20 critical reviews.

Elba has won accolades for his role as John Luther. He won a Critics’ Choice TV Award, NAACP Image Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe Award, all for his role as John Luther.

Luther TV series has received several Primetime Emmy Award nominations in multiple categories, including Elba’s nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie.

Filming of the series has so far taken place around London, England.

Luther Season 6/Movie trailer

Luther Season 6: Idris Elba as John Luther
Luther TV show is heading to the big screen, according to actor Idris Elba. Pic credit: BBC

A trailer for Luther Season 6 or movie isn’t yet in sight. But the expected long wait could be mitigated by the early release of a teaser. The fact that the first teaser for Season 5 came about seven months before it premiered gives hope.

The first official full trailer for Luther Season 5 came out in November 2018, about five weeks before the Season 5 release date.

This means that if we are getting Luther Season 6 as early as 2021, we might see the first teaser trailer as early as late in 2020.

Meanwhile, enjoy the official trailer for Luther Season 5.

Luther Season 6 cast

DCI John Luther: Idris Elba
Idris Elba will return as DCI John Luther for Season 6. Pic credit: BBC

Members of the cast of Luther expected to return if Luther Season 6 gets the green light include Idris Elba as DCI John Luther and Dermot Crowley as DSU Martin Schenk.

Ruth Wilson won’t return for Season 6, except her character Alice Morgan resurrects miraculously.

Luther’s sidekick DS Catherine Halliday (Wunmi Mosaku) and Benny Silver (Michael Smiley) were tragically killed in Luther Season 5, so they won’t return for Luther Season 6.

Luther TV series: Wunmi Mosaku
Luther Season 6: Actress Wunmi Moasku played DS Catherine Halliday. Pic credit: BBC

Patrick Malahide as George Cornelius ended Luther Season 6 in police custody, so he could return for Luther Season 6. Some fans have speculated that Luther and Malahide could well meet in prison (if Luther actually ends up in prison).

Paul McGann could return as Mark North.

Enzo Cilenti as Jeremy Lake and Hermione Norris as Vivien Lake could also return for Luther Season 6.

Digital Spy lists several cast members who have been away from the series for some time but who could make a comeback in Luther Season 6: Rose Leslie as DS Emma Lane, Nikki Amuda-Bird as DCI Erin Gray, Saskia Reeves as DSU Rose Teller, Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Jenny Jones, Kierston Wareing as Caroline, Pam Ferris as Baba, and Alan Williams as Frank Hodge.

Luther Season 6/movie plot

Luther Season 6: Dermot Crowley as DSU Martin Schenk
Dermot Crowley will return as DSU Martin Schenk for Luther Season 6. Pic credit: BBC

If Luther Season 6 happens, we can expect the showrunners to simply pick up from where Season 5 left off.

Idris Elba also revealed in the interview with Radio Times that the plot of the planned Luther movie will “be somehow connected” to Season 5.

So regardless of whether we get a movie or a new season of the TV series, the Season 5 plot and storyline will likely set the stage for whatever comes next.

While it remains uncertain whether Luther will go to prison, any return of Luther to the big or small screen will likely follow what happens after his arrest.

Luther Season 5 ended with the title character led away in handcuffs by his boss DS Martin Schenk (Dermot Crowley), after the shootout with Alice Morgan ended fatally for the latter.

Luther was placed under arrest on suspcion of a number of crimes, including murder.

Luther Season 6 — if it happens — could start with Luther behind bars and follow his effort to clear his name. For instance, he might escape from police custody and go on the run while he tries to clear his name.

Alternatively, with Cornelius also in custody, it is possible that the truth will come out and Luther will be cleared.

Although Luther was personally not guilty of murder, his actions and penchant for breaking the rules clearly contributed to the events that led to the death of several people, including Catherine Halliday, Benny Silver and Alistair, George Cornelius’s son whom Alice killed.

Although it is unlikely, Luther might end up serving time and Luther Season 6 or the movie could start from after he leaves prison.


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