Elba warned journalists Wednesday night at the New York City screening inside The Roxy Hotel, that it is not a reboot. Instead, the actor hopes the nearly three-hour "episode" will be an appetizer to his ultimate goal -- taking the series to the box office.
"We've been allowed by the audience to break down 'Luther' any which way we want to," he said. "[The series] doesn't quite fit with the 13-23-episode arc that you might get on generic American TV or English TV that has six episodes. 'Luther' is too dark and too violent to be able to sustain over that sort of time."
"And not only that, as an actor, myself, I just don't want to do it forever," Elba, 43, added. "There's no way I can do it for 23 episodes. There's no way."
Instead, Elba wants to take his popular dark character to the big screen. "I've been vocal about the idea of doing 'Luther' as a movie, as a film: Big screen, bigger story, longer arc...[This] represents the very, very, early sort of pilot for the film."
Elba is already thinking about who would direct the motion picture. "Sam Miller, whose done the majority of the 'Luther' franchise, would be my first director," he revealed, noting that the two worked together on the 2014 thriller, "No Good Deed."
The British actor hopes that if fans enjoy a "Luther" film, they'll stop asking if he's set to portray James Bond in the 007 film franchise.
"Everyone keeps talking about Bond and all that nonsense. And not to sit here like I'm ignoring [it], but the truth is Luther is my Bond," he said. "You have a central character that gets himself into lots of s---. No reinvention of the wheel there."
BBC America's "Luther" TV special airs Dec. 17 at 9/8c.