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Jason Statham on Peaky Blinders: Action star was originally picked for starring role on show

Jason Statham Red Carpet
Jason Statham was nearly the star of Peaky Blinders. Pic credit: @ImageCollect.com/ImagePressAgency

Peaky Blinders with Jason Statham is what creator Steven Knight really wanted to happen on his hit show. It’s one of those instances where a creator looks back at a show and fans can wonder how it might have turned out differently.

When it came to casting the star of his show, the writer and creator of Peaky Blinders met with Statham and Cillian Murphy in Los Angeles. Knight left the meetings feeling that Statham was the man for the role.

As for why he was ready to go in that direction, Knight stated that, “One of the reasons was because physically, in the room, Jason is Jason.” It’s hard to argue with that point.

Cillian Murphy campaigns to star on Peaky Blinders

In a watch-along with Esquire, Steven Knight stated that he ended up changing his mind about Cillian Murphy after the actor sent him a text.

In the text, Murphy stated, “Remember, I’m an actor.”

As Knight tells it, that text made him completely reconsider the thoughts that he had when leaving the meetings.

“Cillian, when you meet him, isn’t Tommy, obviously, but I was stupid enough not to understand that,” Knight said. “He can transform himself. If you meet him in the street he is a totally different human being.”

Fans of Peaky Blinders may agree with Knight, as Murphy has made the role all his own. Murphy has played the Birmingham, England, crime boss, Tommy Shelby, to perfection through five seasons of the show.

It’s almost impossible to picture Jason Statham in the part, now, especially this deep into the story-telling. For Statham, it also cleared up his schedule to take on a bigger role in the world of The Fast and the Furious.

Peaky Blinders Season 6

Through five seasons of the show, Peaky Blinders is still going strong. It was already picked up for Season 6, but the health situation around the world brought pre-production to a halt.

Once things clear up, Peaky Blinders Season 6 can get filming started and prepare new episodes to debut on television. At this time, with no clear production schedule, it’s difficult to predict when the show will make its Season 6 debut.

Until the new episodes arrive, there is plenty of time to rewatch the first five seasons of the show, relive some of the shocking twists and turns, and wonder what it would look like if Jason Statham was playing Tommy Shelby.


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