‘Peaky Blinders’ Season 6: Arthur Shelby Actor Paul Anderson Sparks Suspicion That John Shelby Is in New Season

Peaky Blinders Season 6 premieres in February 2022, and fans can’t wait to see how the Shelby family saga concludes. Last season, Thomas Shelby nearly lost it all after someone foiled his plan to kill Oswald Mosley. Now, fans are searching for behind-the-scenes photos and videos to figure out what may happen next. Arthur Shelby actor Paul Anderson posted a photo from the show — and it has fans wondering if John Shelby will make an appearance from beyond the grave. Here’s why.

How did John Shelby die? The other Shelby family brothers outlived him

A close-up of Joe Cole's face against a blue background, the actor who plays John Shelby in 'Peaky Blinders
Joe Cole | Matthias Nareyek/Getty Images

Peaky Blinders Season 6 is unlikely to feature John Shelby, as he died back in season 4. So, how did John Shelby die? Screen Rant reminds us in season 4, episode 1, John was shot dead in front of his home. His wife, Esme Shelby, as well as Michael Gray, saw it happen before them. The command to kill John was made by someone working for antagonist Luca Changretta.

John’s death, of course, caused a tidal wave of reactions from the Shelby family. Thomas Shelby brings the Shelbys together in New Heath, Birmingham, while they dealt with the loss. And Esme didn’t take the death well. She decided to take her and John’s children far away — and she cursed the Shelbys prior to leaving.

John Shelby actor Joe Cole told Independent he felt ready to move on from the series when he was shot, as he had other projects in the works.

Arthur Shelby actor Paul Anderson sparked suspicion that John Shelby might be in ‘Peaky Blinders’ Season 6

'Peaky Blinders' Season 6 star Paul Anderson in focus with Cillian Murphy and Helen McCrory next to him at a Q&A
Paul Anderson during a Q&A with ‘Peaky Blinders’ cast members | Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

Because of John Shelby’s death in Peaky Blinders Season 4, fans certainly don’t anticipate seeing him in Peaky Blinders Season 6. But Arthur Shelby actor Paul Anderson is sparking speculation that Joe Cole could appear in some form in the final season.

On Dec. 27, 2021, Anderson posted a photo of him and Cillian Murphy on the set — and Joe Cole is in the background. “La sixième saison en enfer,” Anderson captioned the Instagram post, which translates to, “The sixth season in hell.”

“Hold up, why is John there?” a fan asked. “Is this an old photo?”

“He could be in season 6 for flashbacks, etc.,” another fan suggested.

“Why the f*** is John on set ?!?!?!?!??!” another fan asked.

Other fans verified the photo was old, though. But it still could point to Cole reappearing in some way in the final season.

Additionally, Anderson posted another photo to Instagram of Arthur and John on Feb. 7, 2022. “RIP my John boy … we had all the money in the world all the power we could ever need but we never had you boy …. ODE to season 6 THE BLEAK MIDWINTER,” he captioned the post.

“Please say, by any miracle John wasn’t dead,” a fan commented on the post. “He will be back in [season] 6.”

John Shelby’s wife, Esme Shelby, will reportedly show up in ‘Peaky Blinders’ Season 6

It’s unclear whether Joe Cole will be part of the Peaky Blinders Season 6 cast as John Shelby. But the Peaky Blinders Season 6 trailer showed Esme will return. When Esme left with her and John’s children and cursed the Shelby family, it didn’t seem like fans would ever see her again. But now, she’s back — and we can’t imagine it’s good for the Shelbys.

“I mean, not only was she not happy with them, she literally cursed them until the end of days, so it seems very likely Esme will be an antagonist this season,” a Reddit user guessed.

We’ll have to wait and find out what happens between Esme and the Shelbys when Peaky Blinders Season 6 premieres in February 2022.

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RELATED: ‘Peaky Blinders’ Season 6: Cillian Murphy Seemingly Confirms Thomas Shelby Doesn’t Die