Irish actor Cillian Murphy has been cast as the head gangster of a crime family in new BBC series ‘Peaky Blinders’.
Murphy will play Tommy, a member of the tough Delaney family, who rule a Birmingham neighbourhood in post-war 1919. Murphy’s character is the most ruthless of the family, who are known for sewing razor blades into the peaks of their caps, earning them the nickname the Peaky Blinders. During the series, viewers will see Tommy’s leadership threatened when an equally as brutal police chief lands in Birmingham to preserve order on the streets.
Murphy, star of Neil Jordan’s ‘Breakfast on Pluto’ and Ken Loach’s Irish Civil War film ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’, makes his second foray into the television world with ‘Peaky Blinders’. The Cork actor previously starred in BAFTA-winning BBC series ‘The Way We Live Now’.
‘Peaky Blinders’ is written by Steven Knight, the writer behind gritty British features ‘Eastern Promises’ and ‘Dirty Pretty Things’. He wrote the six-part script with David Leland (Band of Brothers), Stephen Russell (Shameless) and Toby Finlay (Ripper Street). Speaking of the new series, Knight said: “The story I want to tell is based on family legend and historical fact. It is a fiction woven into a factual landscape which is breathtakingly dramatic and cinematic, but which for very English reasons has been consigned to historical text books.”
Otto Bathurst (Five Days, Criminal Justice) will direct with Katie Swinden (Luther, Spooks) producing.
UK-based Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions will oversee the production. Tiger Aspect just wrapped filming in Dublin on BBC series ‘Ripper Street’, starring Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn and Adam Rothenberg. Screen Scene VFX and Egg Post production are currently working on post production for the eight-part series which will hit screens this autumn.
Caryn Mandabach of Caryn Mandabach Productions and head of drama at Tiger Aspect Greg Brenman said ‘Peaky Blinders’ is “television at its best.”
Filming is scheduled to begin in the UK in September, with an air date slated for 2013.
Murphy can be seen next in Rufus Norris’ ‘Broken’, which opened Critics Week at the Cannes Festival in May of this year, as well as ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, in cinemas now.