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Tom Hardy to star in new Ridley Scott BBC drama Taboo

Actor will play a rogue adventurer from the early nineteenth century

Tom Hardy is to star in a new “flagship” Sir Ridley Scott BBC drama about the East India Company.

The Inception actor will play a rogue adventurer who sets out to build a shipping empire, pitting him against the East India Company.

Set in 1813, the drama will see Hardy’s character seek avenge for his father’s death after returning from Africa with 14 diamonds.

Hardy, who wrote the original story with his father Chips, has called it “a flagship drama for this generation” and “a hybrid of orthodox and unconventional storytelling”.

Gladiator director Sir Ridley said Hardy’s character “will become iconic”.

The role marks Hardy’s latest venture from film to TV after recently joining the cast of BBC2’s period gangster drama Peaky Blinders.

The new eight-part series, Taboo, will reunite Hardy with his Locke director and screenwriter Steven Knight, who has written the drama’s script.

Knight described Hardy’s character James Delaney as a “deeply flawed and deeply troubled human being”.

“His greatest struggle will be against the East India Company which, throughout the 19th Century, was the equivalent of the CIA, the NSA and the biggest, baddest multinational corporation on earth, all rolled into one self-righteous, religiously motivated monolith,” he told the BBC.

Filming for Taboo will begin in the UK in January next year.

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