Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom will be released on VR platforms later this year, following a death-row inmate who narrowly avoids a firing squad and finds allies in Tommy and Arthur Shelby. With the sixth and final season of the programme due to broadcast later this month, GameSpot spoke with Maze Theory about adapting such a well-known franchise—and how it feels like a perfect fit.
Rather than skirting around storylines that occurred during a specific season of the programme, Maze Theory chose to situate Peaky Blinders in 1928, right before British fascist leader Oswald Mosley rose to power. By utilising the time gap between seasons, the plot was able to stand on its own while yet contributing to the Peaky Blinders mythology.
“We really wanted to develop a storey that felt honest and authentic but could yet be original,” said Russ Harding, the studio’s head. “And it seemed like there were some fascinating periods between the [series] that would allow us to do some additional investigation with Caryn Mandabach and Steven Knight’s team of [executive producers].”
Maze Theory recognised it needed to reassure Knight and his creative team that it would treat the material with respect for authenticity, based on its previous experience with Doctor Who TV-to-VR game adaptations. The game developers’ affection for the setting and desire to be a part of it made it easier—while the programme is based on actual Birmingham and London, it is still primarily imaginary. It allows the show’s writers to experiment with historical figures like Mosley and the Shelby family, and Winston Churchill’s relationship with Tommy will be examined in The King’s Ransom.
The cast maintains the authenticity, with Cillian Murphy reprising his role as Tommy Shelby and Paul Anderson reprising his role as Arthur Shelby. Anderson also conducted full performance capture for his role in The King’s Ransom, which Harding claims will be pivotal in the film. Helen McCrory, who died just as the performers were getting started, was one of the actresses who couldn’t return. Polly, McCrory’s role, will still appear in The King’s Ransom, albeit played by a different actor who did not attempt to imitate McCrory’s performance.
Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom is set to be released in 2022, however no specific date has been determined. The show’s sixth and final season will premiere on BBC on February 27 and will be available on Netflix later, with a film set to begin production in 2023.