Steven Knight
Knight in 2020
Born (1959-04-01) 1 April 1959 (age 65)
Marlborough, England
Alma materUniversity College London
  • Screenwriter
  • producer
  • film director
Years active1989–present

Steven Knight CBE (born 1 April 1959) is a British screenwriter, film and television producer and director. Knight wrote the screenplays for the films Closed Circuit, Dirty Pretty Things, and Eastern Promises, and also wrote and directed the films Locke and Hummingbird (a.k.a. Redemption).

Knight is one of three creators of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, a game show that has been remade and aired in around 160 countries worldwide. He is also the creator of the BBC's Peaky Blinders and has written for Commercial Breakdown, The Detectives, See and Taboo.

Early life and education

Knight is the son of a blacksmith.[1] He attended The Streetly School (now The Streetly Academy) as a teenager, in Streetly, Sutton Coldfield, in the West Midlands. He then went on to study English at University College London (UCL) where he is an Honorary Fellow. His first experience of writing was in preparing property descriptions for an Estate Agent.

Knight has three children. He is an ardent Birmingham City fan.



Before he created TV's Peaky Blinders, Knight was best known for screenplays he wrote for the films Dirty Pretty Things and Eastern Promises. His work on the screenplay for Dirty Pretty Things earned him the Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay and London Film Critics Circle award for British Screenwriter of the Year.[2] The screenplay was also nominated for several other awards including the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay[3] and the BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay.[4]

Knight wrote the screenplay for the 2013 film Closed Circuit, which was directed by John Crowley and which starred Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall.

Knight wrote a draft of a screenplay based on the book Shutter Island written by Dennis Lehane, but the draft that was used for the movie of the same name was written by Laeta Kalogridis.[5]

Recent films based on screenplays that Knight has written include The Hundred-Foot Journey directed by Lasse Hallström, based on the book of the same name by Richard C. Morais and starring Helen Mirren, Seventh Son, an adventure story starring Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harington and Jason Scott Lee, as well as the film Pawn Sacrifice, based on U.S. chess champion Bobby Fischer, with Tobey Maguire playing Fischer in the film. He also wrote the screenplay of World War Z II.[6]

Knight wrote the script for the 2021 dramedy Locked Down, about a couple (Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor) attempting a high-stakes jewellery heist during the COVID-19 pandemic.[7] Knight later wrote the script for the film Spencer, starring Kristen Stewart as Diana, Princess of Wales.[8]

In March 2023, it was reported that Knight would write the screenplay for an upcoming Star Wars film directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, replacing Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson. The film is set to be a continuation to the Star Wars sequel trilogy, focusing on Rey Skywalker's attempts to bring back the Jedi Order.[9] A few days later, it was announced that Knight would be writing the screenplay for a remake of the Alfred Hitchcock film Vertigo for Paramount Pictures, with Robert Downey Jr. eyed for the lead role.[10]

Knight's writing sometimes involves "groups of men who are probably not the easiest people to fit into conventional society."[11]


In addition to his writing, Knight has directed three films: Hummingbird (2013), starring Jason Statham, Locke (2013), starring Tom Hardy, and Serenity (2019) starring Matthew McConaughey, Diane Lane, and Anne Hathaway. Locke won a British Independent Film Award in 2013 for Best Screenplay. Knight has directed several episodes of the TV series for which he also frequently wrote, The Detectives.

In 2022, Knight was the co-director of the Opening Ceremony for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which took place on 28 July 2022.

TV series

Knight also co-created the TV series game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (along with Mike Whitehill and David Briggs) and also is the creator of the TV series Show do Milhão and All About Me.

Knight created the television series Peaky Blinders and has written for TV series including BBC's Commercial Breakdown (with Jimmy Carr), The Detectives, Comedy Playhouse (the episode "Wild Oats" in 1993), Frankie's On..., Auntie's Big Bloomers, Taboo, and Canned Carrott.

He created and co-wrote A Christmas Carol, a dark adaptation of the Dickens story for BBC One in the UK and FX in the US, starring Guy Pearce as Scrooge and Andy Serkis as the Ghost of Christmas Past, as well as an adaptation of Dickens' Great Expectations starring Olivia Colman as Miss Havisham. It was notable for its ending, which steered markedly from that of Dickens's original.[12]



Year Title Director Writer Producer
2001 Gypsy Woman No Yes No
2002 Dirty Pretty Things No Yes No
2006 Amazing Grace No Yes No
2007 Eastern Promises No Yes No
2013 Closed Circuit No Yes No
Hummingbird Yes Yes No
Locke Yes Yes No
2014 The Hundred-Foot Journey No Yes No
Seventh Son No Yes No
Pawn Sacrifice No Yes No
2015 Burnt No Yes No
2016 Allied No Yes Executive
2017 Woman Walks Ahead No Yes No
November Criminals No Yes Executive
2018 The Girl in the Spider's Web No Yes No
2019 Serenity Yes Yes Yes
2021 Locked Down No Yes No
Spencer No Yes Executive
TBA Maria No Yes TBA


Year Title Writer Executive
Creator Director Notes
1989 Commercial Breakdown Yes No No No
1990–1992 Canned Carrott Yes No No No
1993–1997 The Detectives Yes No No Yes
1998–present Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Yes No Yes No Co-created with David Briggs and Mike Whitehill
2002–2004 All About Me Yes No Yes No
2013–2022 Peaky Blinders Yes Yes Yes No
2017 Taboo Yes Yes Yes No Co-created with Tom Hardy and Chips Hardy
2019–2022 See Yes Yes Yes No
2019 A Christmas Carol Yes Yes No No
2022 SAS: Rogue Heroes Yes Yes Yes No
2023 Great Expectations Yes Yes No No
All the Light We Cannot See Yes No Yes No Co-developed with Shawn Levy
2024 This Town Yes Yes Yes No
The Veil Yes Yes Yes No
TBA A Thousand Blows Yes Yes Yes No

Awards and honors

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Steven Knight

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2020 New Year Honours for services to drama, entertainment and the community in Birmingham.[13]


  1. ^ "SAS Rogue Heroes: Inside Steven Knight's thrilling Peaky Blinders follow-up". NME. 20 October 2022.
  2. ^ British Screenwriter of the Year Archived 21 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine, London Film Critics Circle. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
  3. ^ 76th Academy Awards Nominees and Winners Archived 27 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
  4. ^ Film Nominations 2002, British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
  5. ^ Shutter Island, Variety. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
  6. ^ Miska, Brad (19 January 2015). "'World War Z' Slate Wiped Clean".
  7. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (30 September 2020). "'Lockdown': Ben Stiller, Lily James, Stephen Merchant, Dulé Hill, Jazmyn Simon & Mark Gatiss Set To Join Doug Liman's Harrods Heist Movie Underway In London". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  8. ^ Ramachandran, Naman (21 January 2021). "Steven Knight Talks 'Peaky Blinders' Movie, Writing Kristen Stewart's Lady Diana and Working With Netflix (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  9. ^ B. Vary, Adam (22 March 2023). "Steven Knight to Write New 'Star Wars' Movie After Damon Lindelof, Justin Britt-Gibson Exit (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  10. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (23 March 2023). "Paramount Sets Remake Of Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' As Potential Robert Downey Jr-Starrer; Steven Knight To Write Script & Davis Entertainment To Produce With Team Downey". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 24 March 2023.
  11. ^ "SAS Rogue Heroes creator reflects on show's similarity to Peaky Blinders". 28 October 2022.
  12. ^ "'Great Expectations' review: A dismal remodel of a Charles Dickens tale". Los Angeles Times. 24 March 2023.
  13. ^ "No. 62866". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 2019. p. N9.