Luther star Andy Serkis ‘wanted to turn down’ Netflix role

ITV Good Morning Britain: Andy Serkis on being a villain in the new Luther movie

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Luther: The Fallen Sun just hit cinemas, but it almost didn’t get made with the cast fans have now seen. Andy Serkis plays the malevolent David Robey, a mastermind who may ultimately be the match for Idris Elba’s no-nonsense detective. Serkis, who is best known for playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings films, explained how Robey became one of his hardest parts yet, and he even toyed with the idea of turning the Netflix film down.

Serkis said on Good Morning Britain: “It was one of the darkest parts I’ve ever been offered and I did almost consider not doing it. What’s brilliant about Neil Cross and the writing, is that he makes the villains in Luther about [us].”

He described the character and the threat looming over Luther as “very very real, around the corner, under the bed”.

“It’s in our lives,” Serkis continued. “This one in particular, is about the horror that is the internet. The power of the internet and someone like David Robey – the character that I play – manipulates people using that. He’s a master of surveillance, he’s used to manipulating people, he’s sort of an observer of people because he can’t connect with humanity and so he observes them… It’s very frightening and Neil Cross’ writing is brilliant at doing that.”

Serkis explained that the chilling reality to the character left him considering whether he ought to take the role at all.

“What was exciting,” he smirked. “[Is that] I’ve played a number of dark characters before, and I just thought: is this what I want to do right now? It was so current and so important as a debate about the internet, and how we’ve given our souls over to it really.”

Serkis said society has “given its life” to the internet, and says we’re “happy to know we’re being surveilled 24/7” through various smart devices.

“The villain is us,” he added. “We’ve accepted it.”

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Despite the fear Serkis felt around playing his terrifying technological villain, it hasn’t stopped him from picking up his phone every day.

“And that’s the thing,” he defended. “We’re all addicts, that’s the point! We’ve become slaves to [phones].”

Although Serkis has been wrestling with the morality of his character, Luther star Elba has been gushing about his.

He recently told Total Film (Via Radio Times) how he compared The Fallen Sun’s blueprint to that of a James Bond film.

“It’s not a competition,” Elba said. “But I reference Bond as a template for the type of film we’re going for. John is a leading character in a film that he’s the hero of. That’s the comparison I’m making.”

He said that his “ambition” was to give the first Luther film “that sort of scale”.

Elba went on: “I want people to be like: ‘Ooh! Luther, the first film? Wicked.’ And to continue that. And then maybe later down the line, when I’m too old, someone else will step in to play John.”

Luther: The Fallen Sun is in cinemas now, and hits Netflix on March 10.

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