Fans of British gangster drama Peaky Blinders were saddened to learn that the upcoming sixth season of the show is going to be it's last. But what was a loss for the Peaky Blinders might end up being a gain for the MI6. According to bookmakers Coral, Cillian Murphy, the lead of Peaky Blinders, has seen a huge improvement in his odds of becoming the next James Bond now that he is no longer tied to the show.

"Cillian Murphy's time as Tommy Shelby is coming to an end, with the eagerly awaited sixth series of Peaky Blinders set to be the last. With the famous role of Bond coming up too after Craig's final film, we've cut the odds on Murphy becoming the next 007. Tom Hardy's been the favourite for a long time and is no doubt the leading contender in the race to replace Craig."
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Hollywood audiences might have a difficult time imagining Murphy as the next 007, since they are most familiar with the actor in the role of the disturbing villain Jonathan Crane aka Scarecrow in The Dark Knight trilogy. Before Peaky Blinders, Cillian Murphy was best known for playing quiet, non-threatening men who relied on brains rather than brawns.

In fact, this reputation for being a cerebral actor almost prevented Peaky Blinders showrunner Steven Knight from casting Murphy as Tommy Shelby, the lead of the show. Tommy is the fiery, charismatic leader of the Peaky Blinders gang, an ex-soldier who is as ready with his fists as with speech. According to Knight, he had already decided to cast action star Jason Statham as Tommy, until a text from Murphy changed his mind.

"I met [Jason Statham and Cillian Murphy] in LA to talk about the role [of Tommy Shelby] and opted for Jason. One of the reasons was because physically in the room, Jason is Jason. Cillian, when you meet him, isn't Tommy, obviously, but I was stupid enough not to understand that. Afterwards, he sent me a text saying, 'Remember, I'm an actor.' Which is absolutely the thing because he can transform himself. If you meet him in the street he is a totally different human being."

Knight's gut instinct turned out to be right. Tommy Shelby became Murphy's breakout role, to the extent that fans agree that the actor has carried the Peaky Blinders franchise from the start. While the show might be ending, Knight has hinted the series will continue "in another form," going on to elaborate to Deadline that "[the lockdown] changed our plans. But I can say that my plan from the beginning was to end Peaky with a movie. That is what is going to happen." So it appears that we are definitely getting a Peaky Blinders Movie sometime in the future, which could impede on casting Murphy as 007.

Although the end of Peaky Blinders has freed Cillian Murphy to pursue the role of Bond, the odds-on favorite for the role of the suave secret agent once Daniel Craig retires still remains Tom Hardy. Ironically, Hardy also appears in Peaky Blinders as the gangster Alife Solomons, and it wouldn't be the first time Alfie has swiped a golden opportunity right out from under Tommy Shelby's nose.