Peaky Blinders, the BBC Two period crime saga to which the The Weinstein Co acquired U.S. TV and VOD rights last year, is getting a stateside home. Netflix will run the first two seasons exclusively beginning September 30 with Season 1 and adding the second season in November. Critically acclaimed and well-received in the UK, the series was created by Steven Knight and is produced by Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect. It stars Cillian Murphy, Sam Neill, Helen McCrory and Annabelle Wallis. Frequent Knight collaborator Tom Hardy joins for S2, along with Noah Taylor and Charlotte Riley. Also for S2, PJ Harvey weighs in on the soundtrack that also includes music by Johnny Cash and Arctic Monkeys.
The period series is set in Birmingham, England, where the Shelby family leads the Peaky Blinders – a feared gang named for their practice of sewing razor blades into the peaks of their caps.
The Weinstein Co actually acquired rights to the first three seasons with options for others. Season 3 has yet to be greenlighted in keeping with the policy of UK broadcasters, which tend not to advance themselves. “We have to wait for the BBC to weigh in,” executive producer Caryn Mandabach tells me. “In our happy minds, it goes on for much longer.” Mandabach says the busy and prolific Knight “is very committed to Peaky Blinders. He’s not a gun for hire. There is a mythology and a story to tell.” The premiere of S2, which hits the UK on October 2, was held in Birmingham on Sunday, and, Mandabach says, “From what I can tell, there is serious intent to view. Brits are very prideful of something that is a precious bit of historical fiction, and the mythologizing gives a lot of pride.” There is also a lot of interest in working-class stories that haven’t been told. Mandabach sees Peaky Blinders as a “story that doesn’t really have an end.” She adds, “Foreign sales have been really good for our little enterprise. … I think Netflix is unbelievably good at marketing, and I think they are going to do a major job of getting the right people [in the U.S.] to watch.”
Harvey Weinstein calls the show “a richly creative, deeply engaging series that will have the perfect home in the U.S. on Netflix. We’re sure American viewers will be seduced from the very first moment.”
Along with Knight and Mandabach, exec producers are Greg Brenman, Jamie Glazebrook and Frith Tiplady. Here are trailers for S1 and S2: