Steven Knight

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Steven Knight

Portrait of Steven Knight by Taylor Rooke, March 5th 2020.jpg
Born1959 (age 60–61)
Birmingham, England
Alma materUniversity College London
OccupationScreenwriter, film director
Years active1989–present

Steven Knight CBE (born 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, and Taboo.

Personal life[edit]

Knight studied English at University College London (UCL) where he is an Honorary Fellow. He has three children. He is also an ardent Birmingham City fan.

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 upcoming dramedy Lockdown, about a couple (Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor) attempting a high-stakes jewelry heist during the COVID-19 pandemic.[7]


In addition to his writing, Knight has directed two films: Hummingbird (2013), starring Jason Statham, and Locke (2014), starring Tom Hardy. 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. His third film as director is the thriller Serenity, which he also wrote, and which stars Matthew McConaughey, Diane Lane, and Anne Hathaway. The film was released in 2019.

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.



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


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 No 4 episodes
2002–2004 All About Me Yes No Yes No 2 episodes
2013–present Peaky Blinders Yes Yes Yes No
2017–present Taboo Yes Yes Yes No
2019–present See Yes Yes Yes No
2019 A Christmas Carol Yes Yes No No Miniseries



  1. ^ "No. 62866". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 2019. p. N9.
  2. ^ British Screenwriter of the Year Archived 2007-02-21 at the Wayback Machine, London Film Critics Circle. Accessed July 29, 2008.
  3. ^ 76th Academy Awards Nominees and Winners Archived March 27, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Accessed July 29, 2008.
  4. ^ Film Nominations 2002, British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Accessed July 29, 2008.
  5. ^ Shutter Island, Variety. Accessed July 29, 2008.
  6. ^ ‘World War Z’ Slate Wiped Clean
  7. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (2020-09-30). "'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. Retrieved 2020-11-23.

External links[edit]