Cillian Murphy (Inception) is set to star in an upcoming six-part BBC2 miniseries, written by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises). The immensely talented Irish actor Murphy will be playing a ruthless gangster (Cillian Murphy playing a bad guy? Ya don’t say!) in the period drama, called Peaky Blinders, which sounds more like an exposé on Peeping Toms than anything.
Apparently though, the title is a reference to the gangster family’s penchant for sewing razor blades into the peaks of their caps. Murphy will play Tommy, the leader of a gang of brutal brothers who rule the post-war slums of 1919 Birmingham, England, while returning soldiers, revolutionaries and criminals fight to survive. For more on the project, hit the jump.
According to The Playlist, things go awry with Tommy’s reign of terror when a Belfast police chief comes on the scene. And, of course, there’s a beautiful and mysterious woman to shake things up as well. Most importantly though, will the actors all have those trademark Brummie accents? And will Murphy’s character have to resort to violence to fell his enemies, or will he just slay them with his piercing eyes?
Steven Knight has proven himself as a capable storyteller, but a good director will make all of the difference in turning this project from a run-of-the-mill drama to something more beautiful and complex, like HBO’s gangster series of the same time period and somewhat similar subject matter, Boardwalk Empire. The inclusion of Murphy portends well for the series, since he’s known for taking roles in excellent and often offbeat films (though he is often times underutilized). Peaky Blinders is set to debut in the U.K. in 2013.