It looks as though Michael Gray has made powerful friends in America, raising serious questions as to whether Al Capone is in Peaky Blinders season 6. The highly anticipated Peaky Blinders season 6 has yet to set a release date after a prolonged interim following season 5’s conclusion in 2019 due to the pandemic. The first trailer for Peaky Blinders season 6 arrived on January 1st however and offers many hints as to what Michael has been up to in America, particularly featuring a new enemy for Tommy—one that may be the famous gangster, Al Capone.
Peaky Blinders follows Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) and his brothers beginning in 1919 when they return home to Birmingham from World War 1. Over the course of five seasons, Tommy has run the Peaky Blinders, taking the family from street thugs and low-level criminals to aristocrats. Peaky Blinders season 5 begins with the financial crash of 1929 and sees Tommy, now a member of Parliament, take on fellow politician Oswald Mosley—a fascist with big plans for Britain. Another threat surfaces in the final episode of Peaky Blinders season 5, however, that may prove as much or more of a problem as the smarmy Oswald: Tommy’s cousin, Michael, and his new wife Gina make a move to steal the family business from Tommy.
Peaky Blinders season 6 is set to pick up in the early to mid-1930s and, from clues in the trailer, Michael is now part of the American mob. Seen on a ship presumably returning to America, Michael is seen looking supremely smug, surrounded by a group of fedora-wearing gangsters. Later in the trailer, Tommy is seen pointing a gun at a new face, actor Stephen Graham, and telling him “you’re a very powerful enemy.” As Al Capone has previously been associated with the Peaky Blinders and Gina’s family history has been craftily cloaked (not to mention Graham has already played Al Capone), it seems possible Tommy will journey across the Atlantic and face-off with the infamous gangster in Peaky Blinders season 6.
Though Al Capone has not been previously seen in the series, he has already been a character on Peaky Blinders. When Luca Changretta (Adrien Brody) threatens Tommy and the Peaky Blinders in season 4, Tommy forms an alliance with Al Capone, though Capone is never shown on screen. It would make sense if Michael has gained access to Al Capone and his mob while working in New York through season 5, as that is exactly what Michael’s job is in America.
Furthermore, Michael married Gina on the journey to Birmingham, conveniently avoiding her maiden name being revealed though it has been made clear that her family is powerful in America. Given her highly-focused attention to Peaky Blinders’ business and her strange lack of fear of Tommy, Gina’s family connections are undoubtedly significant, however, it could be that Graham is not Al Capone and that his character is simply another powerful gangster. Interestingly, actor Stephen Graham has already played Al Capone in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Graham’s character name is suspiciously omitted from the series’ IMDb page.
Series creator Steven Knight has worked hard to deter rumors of Al Capone in Peaky Blinders season 6 saying (via GQ) that the subject of American gangsters is a “minefield” and that he has no designs on further including Al Capone in Peaky Blinders. However, Knight also said that “in reality, the British gangsters – especially Birmingham gangsters amazingly – did have very strong connections with Chicago gangsters.” Regardless of who Graham plays in Peaky Blinders season 6, however, Tommy’s calling him a “very powerful enemy” is high praise and suggests he’s a serious villain.