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Why Peaky Blinders Is Ending With A Movie, Not Season 6

Peaky Blinders is now set to end after season 6 and a movie, potentially offering the story a better conclusion than another season could achieve.

The Cillian Murphy-fronted Peaky Blinders is set to conclude with a movie after season 6, with production planned to begin in 2023. Creator Steven Knight announced the decision in early 2021 with additional news coming throughout the year. Production for Peaky Blinders season 6 has already been completed, leading fans to question why showrunners have chosen to wrap up the series with a movie instead of utilizing the remaining episodes, or a potential season 7.

Centered around the head of the Shelby crime family Thomas Shelby (Murphy), Peaky Blinders has already aired five seasons that have spanned from 1919 to 1929. The series has slowly moved from focusing on the trauma that many of the characters experienced as a result of World War 1 to beginning to lay the groundwork for World War 2, with the rise of Sir Oswald Mosley (Sam Claflin) and fascism in the United Kingdom. All of this was leading towards a larger plan from Knight, who had originally announced that he was starting work on writing Peaky Blinders season 7 before plans changed.

Steven Knight’s plan for Peaky Blinders had always been to craft a full narrative that told the story of the Shelby family between the two World Wars with the end coming at the same time as the first air raid siren in Birmingham. While Knight had previously said his plan was to continue the show with season 7, without elaborating on the details he has suggested that the change was related to problems arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected numerous other productions. However, Knight has also revealed that it was always his intention to end Peaky Blinders with a movie, even if they had been able to produce one more season.

While many cancelled series end up returning with a movie in an attempt to wrap up loose ends that were denied by a network—for instance, Firefly and Serenity—Steven Knight’s longstanding plan for Peaky Blinders suggests a larger picture. A movie offers opportunities that are not available on a TV show. Besides often having a bigger budget, the feature-length allows for a more contained plot told without being broken down into episodic chunks. Perhaps the biggest benefit to making a concluding movie, however, is that it will mean that audiences go into the experience knowing that anything is possible. While Peaky Blinders has killed off major characters like John Shelby (Joe Cole) during its run, characters like Thomas Shelby are expected to survive as the central figure in the story. A movie will allow the writers to conclude the story in whatever way they see fit and further explore Tommy’s self-destructive death wish.

Of course, while Peaky Blinders will be concluding with season 6 and a movie, that is only a part of the story. Steven Knight has made it clear that while he does not plan to stay attached to the property, he will be passing creative duties on to others to helm several potential spinoffs about other parts of the Shelby family and the Shelby Company Limited. Some hints have already been set up with Michael Gray’s (Finn Cole) excursions to the United States, and season 6 will be able to bring in more, but the upcoming movie will be an opportunity for the writers to end Thomas Shelby’s Peaky Blinders story while also establishing the world for future narratives.

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