EXCLUSIVE: As filming gets underway on the 4th season of Peaky Blinders, Oscar winner Adrien Brody has suited up to join the Steven Knight-created period gangster drama. The epic BBC Two saga of the Shelby clan, from Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Drama, started shooting this week in Liverpool.

Brody’s role is being kept under wraps, but Knight says, “He genuinely was the actor in my head when I wrote the part. I’m sure he will be a formidable presence in the world of the Peaky Blinders.”

Caryn Mandabach Productions
Cillian Murphy returns as head of the family, Thomas Shelby, with Tom Hardy also back as Alfie Solomons. Core cast members Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Joe Cole, Sophie Rundle, Finn Cole, Aimee-Ffion Edwards and Kate Phillips are back too, as well as series regulars, Natasha O’Keefe and Packy Lee.

Season 4 will kick off when Tommy receives a mysterious letter on Christmas Eve and realizes the Peaky Blinders are in danger of annihilation. As the enemy closes in, he flees his country house and returns to the streets of Small Heath, Birmingham where a desperate fight for survival begins.

Last season built on the Shelby family having ascended into high-society from its humble beginnings in Small Heath, and the personal issues that presented — along with being pulled into an international arms deal, encountering a group of White Russians with cursed jewels, political upheaval and a truly evil priest. The storyline didn’t end well for members of the family, as Tommy appeared to betray them all in the season finale at what Knight has told me was the character’s “most nihilistic.”

Knight recently told my colleague Dominic Patten that he thinks Season 4 “is the best yet. And I’m loving it and it’s not like work, it’s not like a labor, I love doing it, and the boys are coming back and they’re loving the scripts.”

Of Brody’s casting, BBC Drama Controller Piers Wenger said he is “a world class actor famous for producing mesmerizing performances. I cannot wait to see him in action alongside the rest of Peaky Blinders‘ superb cast bringing Steven Knight’s extraordinary writing to life on BBC Two.”

The Pianist Oscar winner is next up in the Paul Solet-directed Unchained with John Malkovich and Antonio Banderas. He’s repped by Paradigm.

Knight is coming off of the successful first season of the 1814-set FX/BBC drama Taboo, which also stars Hardy and which was recently renewed for a second run. For their part, Hardy and Murphy next reteam on screen in Christopher Nolan’s WWII epic Dunkirk which releases this summer.

Peaky is a Caryn Mandabach and Tiger Aspect Drama production for BBC Two, executive produced by Knight, Mandabach, Will Gould, Jamie Glazebrook, Frith Tiplady, Murphy and, for the BBC, Stephen Wright. The fourth season will be directed by David Caffrey (Line Of Duty) and produced by Joe Donaldson (Ripper Street).

The show is repped internationally by Endemol Shine International, has sold in 163 countries and airs on Netflix in the U.S.