News broke yesterday that Peaky Blinders is set to end with its upcoming sixth series, but the show’s devoted following needn’t panic yet: creator Steven Knight has revealed the end isn’t quite in sight for the Shelby clan.
In the initial announcement about Peaky Blinders‘ conclusion, Knight had explained that the story “will continue in another form” – although exactly what that meant wasn’t elaborated on, with fans questioning whether that would mean a spin-off series, a film, or even a West End musical.
But now Knight has all but confirmed he’ll shift his attention to a Peaky Blinders film after the show wraps, telling Deadline, “I can say that my plan from the beginning was to end Peaky with a movie. That is what is going to happen.”
And so it seems like we can bank on seeing Tommy, Arthur and co on the big screen for one last hurrah, something which will surely be a mouth-watering proposal for fans and which seems like a fitting way to end a series which has gained all sorts of accolades during its five seasons.
As for exactly what the film will include, it’s still anybody’s guess – especially given that we have no idea how the sixth season will end at this point – but we can piece together a few educated guesses based on comments Knight and his team have made in the past.
For a start, it seems likely that any film would be set at the advent of the Second World War. Knight has consistently stated his ambition was for the drama to capture the story of a family between two wars, and he previously said he wanted to end with the first air raid siren in Birmingham in 1939 – which certainly seems like it could make for a memorably cinematic conclusion. And, although he originally said it would take him two further series to get to that stage, it’s likely the film could do some of the work of the previously theorised season seven in this regard, moving us further towards the declaration of war.
With the rise of fascism having already been explored in series five – which introduced Sam Claflin as real-life British Union of Fascists leader Oswald Moseley – it seems a very real possibility the film will continue this theme and shift to the looming threat across Europe. It will certainly be interesting to see how the Shelbys react to events across the continent, and it will also be fascinating to watch how Tommy’s relationship with Winston Churchill – which has featured sporadically throughout the show’s run – develops further.
Casting is uncertain of course, what with the fate of the major characters in the final season still unclear, but it seems likely most of the Shelbys and Grays would feature prominently, including Peaky Blinders cast members Cillian Murphy, Paul Anderson and Helen McCrory, while we can never rule out the possibility of seeing more of Tom Hardy’s Alfie Solomons, who made a surprise return in the season five finale.
As for the possibility of even more Peaky beyond the film, nothing can be ruled out yet. Knight has always been vocal about keeping the story going for a long time, frequently commenting on the potential for expansions to the existing show, and so the film could well be the first of a number of new Peaky projects.
Speaking back in 2019, he said that he was “looking at spin-offs” but ruled out the possibility of doing any prequels to the main show.
“You can’t kill a character who can show up in the series,” he told PA. “The problem with prequels is you’re limiting yourself as to where it can go.”
And then there’s the possibility of a musical. That may sound like a strange match for the series, but it’s something which Knight has openly admitted to exploring in the past, telling Digital Spy back in 2017, “We were approached by people who said they thought it would make a great musical… so who would not want to do that? I’m taking it seriously.”
Of course, music has always played an instrumental part in the series – Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand sets the tone for the show as it’s theme song and the music of acts including PJ Harvey, IDLES and Arctic Monkeys has featured prominently during the show’s run – but you’d have to imagine an actual musical theatre version of the series would take a different approach. We’re certainly intrigued.