Peaky Blinders: do we really need a movie version?

Series 3 of Peaky Blinders is done and dusted and though it may have started slowly, it built to an explosive crescendo. BBC 2 have already confirmed two more series are on the way from creator Steven Knight, but when can we expect a movie, if ever? And is this what we really want?

The show is pretty damn cinematic already, with its anachronistic bangers on the soundtrack, gorgeous period sets and costumes and the story of the rise and fall of a gangster family. It’s the biggest and best looking thing on BBC 2 by a mile and the morally complex world of the Peaky Blinders has been brilliantly explored over 18 luxurious episodes of the show so far.

So why is a movie version being talked up? Why would we want to fork out to see the boys on the big screen? I’m happy with the Blinders right where they are, even if some of the stars of the show are chomping at the bit to get a go on the silver screen.

When asked about a potential future Peaky Blinders movie by Deadline, Paul Anderson who plays Arthur Shelby said simply ‘It’s a simple answer. There has been talk of it. I’m up for it.’ Straight to the point. Couldn’t be clearer.

Likewise, Helen McCrory who plays Aunt Polly answered, ‘God, I’m pro. It’s so cinematic. It has such a strong visual image and such a strong score and music. I think it would be great. I think it would transfer so well to cinema… I think a movie would bring a bigger awareness.’ I’ve no doubt it would bring bigger awareness, but I’m not sure the story of the Peaky Blinders is for everyone anyway. If they do end up doing it, it better be rated 18.

Of course Peaky Blinders is already very cinematic, so why does it need the big screen treatment? They apparently spend around £1 million per episode, so it’s not like the producers are scrimping. That might not be anywhere near as much as some other big-hitting TV series are spending, but it’s certainly not to be sniffed at.

The only star who seems to have any reservations at all is the main man himself, Tommy Shelby. Cillian Murphy says ‘I’m sort of ambivalent about it. I’m sort of like “eh, yeah, I don’t know, I’m not sure.” I love the idea sort of theoretically, but it has to come at the right time, you know? You can’t alienate the beautiful democratic thing of television where everyone just watches it… also you have to compress the story into probably just an event rather than the whole arc that we’ve normally been doing. It’s kind of a sexy idea, but I’ll reserve judgement until the idea is presented to me.’

Murphy, probably the busiest and best known of all the cast members, has hit the nail on the head here. Do fans of the show really want to see the writers try to narrow down the hours of storytelling that TV affords them into a single movie? I definitely don’t, but I suppose it’s never too early to rule out a sequel if they ever do get around to making the Peaky Blinders movie!

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