Steven Knight

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Steven Knight

Portrait of Steven Knight by Taylor Rooke, March 5th 2020.jpg
Knight in 2020
Born (1959-08-05) 5 August 1959 (age 63)
Birmingham, England
Alma materUniversity College London
OccupationScreenwriter, film director
Years active1989–present

Steven Knight CBE (born 5 August 1959) is a British screenwriter and film director. Knight wrote the screenplays for the films Closed Circuit, Dirty Pretty Things, and Eastern Promises, and also directed as well as wrote the films Locke and Hummingbird (a.k.a. Redemption).

Knight is also 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, and has written for BBC's Commercial Breakdown, The Detectives, Peaky Blinders, See and Taboo.

Personal life[edit]

Knight attended The Streetly School (now The Streetly Academy) as a teenager, in Streetly, Walsall, in the West Midlands. He then went on to study English at University College London (UCL) where he is an Honorary Fellow. He has three children. He is also an ardent Birmingham City fan.

His first experience of writing was in preparing property descriptions for an Estate Agent.

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.[1]



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

Knight also 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 also wrote the script for the film Spencer, starring Kristen Stewart as Diana, Princess of Wales.[8]


In addition to his writing, Knight has directed three films: Hummingbird (2013), starring Jason Statham, Locke (2014), 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[edit]

Knight also created the TV series 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 also 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.



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 Hummingbird Yes Yes No
Closed Circuit No 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


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 4 episodes (director), 31 episodes (writer)
1998–2010 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Yes No Yes[a] No 4 episodes
2002–2004 All About Me Yes No Yes No 2 episodes
2013–2022 Peaky Blinders Yes Yes Yes Yes
2017 Taboo Yes Yes Yes[b] No
2019–present See Yes Yes Yes No Season 1 (writer)
2019 A Christmas Carol Yes Yes No No Miniseries
TBA SAS: Rogue Heroes Yes Yes Yes No Upcoming miniseries
TBA Great Expectations Yes Yes No No Upcoming miniseries
TBA All the Light We Cannot See Yes No Yes[c] No Upcoming miniseries
TBA Two Tone Yes Yes Yes No
  1. ^ Co-created with David Briggs and Mike Whitehill
  2. ^ Co-created with Tom Hardy and Chips Hardy
  3. ^ Co-developed with Shawn Levy



  1. ^ "No. 62866". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 2019. p. N9.
  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.

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