Did you also shoot in the real London Underground tunnels?
Payne: We did. I think one of the things that people don’t realize is that the network of tunnels that exist under our feet in London is quite extensive and unusual. There are so many ghost tunnels that when we’re on the Tube, and of course it’s not lit, we can’t see it. That when we get off our normal, ordinary everyday Tube commute, we pass a number of ghost tunnels. And again, TfL [Transport for London], we are all lucky that they are fans of “Luther.” They helped “Luther” in difficult places until the series. So they were willing to open the tunnels and let us film there.
And let me tell you, there was a moment when I was talking about the sequence and Neil and I went down. Neil and I were alone in those ghostly tunnels, those sounds and shadows. Now I’ve been there a few times, but watching Neil respond to this space again really reminded me. [of] the thing that Neil often talked about. He writes incredibly primal fear into these stories because it’s what he feels. This is not how he wants people to feel. This is what he feels. And I had the opportunity to stand in those spaces with Neil, which is something I’ll never forget, let me tell you.
Cross: Jamie, my friend, calls me a chicken on camera.
Payne: No, I’m not!
Cross: In public, I’m called a coward. But he was, of course, absolutely right.
That is another thing that is common in “American Werewolf.” Because that movie had a big sequence in the London Underground.
Payne: Now can I tell you about that? “American Werewolf in London,” there’s a shot that I either stole or was inspired by. I don’t think I’ve admitted it to Neil yet, but Neil will say I noticed.
Cross: In season 5.
Payne: In season 5, on the bus in that terrifying sequence where the woman alone on a night bus is attacked. There’s a shot where you see our killer go under the frame and crawl inside. And that was completely stolen from “American Werewolf in London.”
I think as long as it’s beautiful, there’s nothing wrong with stealing. There’s that shot [season 3] that’s very “Suspiria,” where the guy’s head is pushed through the ceiling.
Cross: Oh well, as long as these things are done with love, that’s the main thing. And one of the things that drives me and Jamie is that we’re fans of things. And there is cynical theft, there is theft that comes from creative bankruptcy. And it sounds like the Beatles playing Chuck Berry. It is a function of love.
Yes, it’s like an award.
Cross: Yes. Neither is that. It’s just so cool, it’s fun to do.
Speaking of being fans of things, how did you balance bringing things that fans would enjoy, and then also making this movie accessible to newcomers who haven’t seen an episode yet? of “Luther”?
Cross: I wish I could look you in the eye and tell you I know how to do that. But the truth is, it’s very difficult.
Payne: Yeah, it’s a daily obsession, seriously, about how to do both of those things. I think this is the banner headline every day that we have in production and in the post. Literally, we just finished the movie X amount of weeks ago and I think that conversation continued. Because it is important to do both. It’s important to have a standalone film that can bring in a new audience, but it’s also important that viewers who have been loyal for so long, that they feel like it’s a continuation of the story. We had to achieve both of those things or we failed.