EXCLUSIVE: Cillian Murphy has been set to star as Tommy, the most ruthless brother in a family of gangsters in the six-part BBC Two drama Peaky Blinders. Created by Steven Knight, who wrote David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises and was Oscar nominated for Stephen Frears’ Dirty Pretty Things, the series is set in 1919 Birmingham where Tommy’s family rules the lawless post-war slum neighborhoods as returning soldiers, revolutionaries and criminals fight for survival. The family is known as the “Peaky Blinders” based on their practice of sewing razor blades into the peaks of their caps. Murphy’s Tommy finds his leadership challenged when a Belfast police chief comes to clean up the city, and a beautiful, mysterious woman arrives with a dangerous secret. The Tiger Aspect/Caryn Mandabach Productions crime saga is produced by Katie Swinden and starts principal photography in September for a 2013 UK debut. Otto Bathurst will direct. Writers include Knight, David Leland, Stephen Russell and Toby Finlay. Murphy’s just coming off The Dark Knight Rises, his third turn in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. Upcoming, he’s got Broken, the British drama that opened Critics Week in Cannes. He is repped by CAA in the US, Lou Coulson Associates in the UK and The Lisa Richards Agency in Ireland.
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