Peaky Blinders debuted its sixth season over a year ago, but will the BBC period drama return for Season 7?
The sixth season of Peaky Blinders concluded with the destruction of the Shelby family mansion, a close-call aborted suicide attempt from Cillian Murphy's Tommy Shelby, and the introduction of his son, Duke, into the family business.
This all came after the death of Shelby family matriarch Polly Gray, revealed to have happened off-screen in the Season 6 premiere, which came due to the passing of Harry Potter star Helen McCrory during production.
Fans were treated to a season delving into the prophesized war between Polly's son Michael and Tommy Shelby, which ultimately ended with the former's death.
Is Peaky Blinders Returning for Season 7?
Peaky Blinders is not expected to return for Season 7 as creator Steven Knight announced in January 2021 that the BBC drama would end with Season 6 during its COVID-time production. However, there is more to this matter as the story of Birmingham's Shelby family isn't quite over yet.
In a statement that accompanied the ending announcement, Knight promised that while Peaky Blinders was ending, "the story will continue in another form:"
"’Peaky’ is back and with a bang. After the enforced production delay due to the Covid pandemic, we find the family in extreme jeopardy and the stakes have never been higher. We believe this will be the best series of all and are sure that our amazing fans will love it. While the TV series will be coming to an end, the story will continue in another form.”
While Peaky Blinders was expected to continue into Season 7, the Shelbys will now return in a movie instead, with the potential for spin-offs to follow after that.
Knight told Yahoo how the end of Season 6 marked "the end of the beginning," with the passing of Polly actress Helen McCrory being among the factors pushing toward the show's conclusion:
"We just felt, also with the loss of Helen [McCrory], that it all seemed to be pointing towards doing what I'm calling ‘the end of the beginning'. Let’s end the beginning, then let's do the film. And then let's see where we go in terms of spin-offs."
The showrunner told Variety how losing a year of production due to the pandemic was also a factor in replacing Season 7 with a movie:
"COVID came along, and we lost a year of production. So we put our heads together and thought that it would be a good idea to do a movie instead of doing series seven."
In a post on the official Peaky Blinders Instagram to celebrate the show's tenth anniversary in September 2023, Knight teased more stories to come in the near future with a cryptic and tantalizing statement.
The showrunner called for fans to "watch this space" as "the story is not yet over," with a note following his quote teasing "here's to the next ten," perhaps suggesting long-term plans for the Birmingham crime world to continue:
"The phenomenal global success of the show is down to the brilliance and hard work of the loyal team that makes it happen. 10 years on and the story is not yet over. Watch this space."
Is The Peaky Blinders Movie Still Happening?
In place of Peaky Blinders Season 7, Steven Knight has since revealed the Shelby story will instead continue in a movie, with the mainline show having firmly concluded its run with the 2022 conclusion of Season 6.
At the time of the announcement that Peaky Blinders would end with Season 6, Knight confirmed to Variety the sequel movie is "in development" with a "fully formed idea" to conclude the story so far and set up more stories to come:
"We are in development. It’s a fully formed idea and it has a beginning, middle and end. And I think it’s going to be a fitting conclusion to the story told so far, but from it, there will be things I don’t really call spinoffs, but there will be other TV shows that I hope will come out of [it], that will continue to tell the story of this part of society and this family."
Speaking recently with Radiotimes in March 2023, Knight dropped the revelation that an announcement is on the way and the movie is "coming and it's soon."
He even dropped the bombshell that the movie will be "the same but different" as it takes place in World War 2, teasing how audiences should "expect the unexpected" and "it's going to be fun."
During an interview with Variety in 2021, the Peaky Blinders creator revealed his plan to shoot the movie in 2023, although it's unclear if this remains the case:
“And then I am going to write the feature which will be set in and shot in Birmingham. And that will probably be the sort of the end of the road for ‘Peaky Blinders’ as we know it.”
Development on the Peaky Blinders movie has likely reached something of a standstill at the moment as Knight took over writing duties on the next Star Wars movie from ex-writer Damon Lindelof - which will be directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and see Daisy Ridley's Rey forming a new Jedi order.
Knight is also currently working on the BBC on other projects set in Birmingham, including a university drama which, according to Deadline, may well become a multi-season endeavor, possibly holding up plans for any more Peaky Blinders.
Peaky Blinders Season 7 Planned Story Details
The news came despite Knight's promise to Entertainment Weekly in October 2019, just weeks after the Season 5 finale, that the show would continue into Season 7 and end with "the first air raid siren of the Second World War:"
“I’m planning to keep the story going until the first air raid siren of the Second World War. Then it will be a true story of a family between the wars. That will involve season 6 and season 7. I’m pretty close to completing season 6 in terms of scripts, and then we’ll shoot that, and then I will embark on season 7. And then, if the energy is still continuing to grow, and the feeling around the world is still so positive, then we’ll think about how the story can continue in other forms.”
Before those comments in April 2019, Knight revealed further plot details for Season 7 and the plan to have Cillian Murphy's Tommy Shelby "become good" by the time the story rounds out in 1939:
“[Season 7] will tell a different story, where Tommy Shelby – who begins as this nihilistic, looking-out only for his family person – will be redeemed, and he will become good,” Knight revealed. “I want to take him on that journey from the person we saw [in Season 1], to the person he will become in 1939.”
In an interview with Empire, the creator elaborated further on his story plans for Peaky Blinders' next chapter, which will now take the form of a movie, revealing he has "revised the scope" of his plans to now "go into and beyond the Second World War:"
"It was always Britain between the wars — how the lesson from one war was not learned and was repeated. It's also the end of empire: we enter the Second World War and by the end of it, there is no empire, really. But I ... have revised the scope of what it is. It will now go into and beyond the Second World War. Because I just think the energy that is out there in the world for this, I want to keep it going, and I want to see how this can progress beyond that."
Peaky Blinders' Future: Season 7, Movie, or Spin-Off?
With the six seasons of Peaky Blinders telling the story of the Shelby family from 1919 to 1933, exploring the gap between the two World Wars, Steven Knight has seemingly yet to complete his promised vision to conclude the story in 1939 with the beginning of World War 2.
But with the writer dropping the revelation that the Peaky Blinders movie will take place during World War 2, which began in 1939, he has clearly had a massive change of heart regarding his overall plan for this world. Fans are also seemingly in for a major time jump from the 1933-set sixth season of the BBC show.
Nonetheless, Peaky Blinders as viewers currently know certainly seems to be over, with Season 7 almost completely off the table. But Knight still clearly has expansive plans to explore this world more in a big way, with a movie on its way in place of Season 7 before he begins diving into spin-offs.
The Peaky Blinders movie has yet to set an official release date at this time.