Steven Knight Collected Lost WWII Stories For The Plot Of The Peaky Blinders Movie

When "Peaky Blinders" aired its final episode back in 2022, it represented the end of an era ... in more ways than one. Not only did it bring the sweeping story of Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) and his fearsome gang to a stirring conclusion on the small screen, but it brought the timeline of the series ever closer to the milestone that creator Steven Knight has had his eye on for quite some time.

Having previously gone on record that he intended to end the early 1900s-set series right as the air raid sirens signaling the opening of World War II began, Knight subsequently walked those remarks back and revealed his hopes to keep the story going right through one of the most horrific conflicts the world has ever seen. For the already-traumatized Tommy, a veteran of the first World War who remains profoundly damaged by his experiences in the claustrophobic tunnels below the European battlegrounds, the onset of another global conflict will surely ramp up his own rivalry with the fascistic political leader, Oswald Mosley (Sam Claflin), in a plot thread that will likely be picked up again in the upcoming feature film spin-off.

For Knight, however, developing the "Peaky Blinders" movie meant doing even more research into the Birmingham, England-based gang and their surroundings. With the ability to unearth an entirely new storytelling opportunity in World War II, the creator turned to actual history for inspiration.

Channeling history

There's a good reason why World War II movies are practically a genre all to their own. From Operation Paperclip to the evacuation of Dunkirk to Operation Mincemeat, the real-world stories behind history's deadliest war might just be more cinematic than fiction could ever hope to be. That probably explains why "Peaky Blinders" creator Steven Knight has rummaged through the recorded past in order to craft the plot for the upcoming movie. In a 2022 interview with the Radio Times, Knight opened up about how he's pulling from "three true stories" as a source of inspiration:

"I've had this in mind for quite a while now, a story with the Peakys during the Second World War, and I've picked up three true stories that I'm integrating into the film. True, sort of secret and unknown stories about the Second World War, and [I've] involved the Peaky's in there."

"I'm always interested because with the Second World War there was so much going on and so much death and destruction, that lots of things happened that didn't really make it into the history books. So it's those things I'm focusing on."

The possibilities are endless, given the staggering amount of material to pull from and all the unexpected ways that the Peaky Blinders could find themselves roped into things. Murphy, himself no stranger to the time period between Christopher Nolan's "Dunkirk" and the upcoming "Oppenheimer," should easily sink his teeth into what should be fraught circumstances for Tommy.

"Peaky Blinders" is currently streaming on Netflix.