Tom Hardy is to reunite with his Locke director and screenwriter, Steven Knight, for a new BBC1 co-production with Sonar Entertainment.
Taboo will see the two join forces with producer Ridley Scott (who directed Thelma & Louise, Black Hawk Down and Gladiator) for the eight-part period drama set in the early 19th century and based on an original story written by Hardy and his father, Chips Hardy.
Set in 1813, Taboo will see the younger Hardy play James Keziah Delaney, a rogue adventurer who returns from Africa with 14 ill-gotten diamonds and a quest to avenge his father’s death. After refusing to sell the family business to the East India Company, he proceeds to build a trade and shipping empire but finds himself playing a dangerous game between two warring nations, Britain and America.
Hardy – who also appears in the second series of BBC2 drama Peaky Blinders, created by Knight – has termed the project “a flagship British drama for this generation. A hybrid of orthodox and unconventional story telling, packed with darkness and spirited characters.”
Adding a little more colour to the plot, Scott added, “This man, James Delaney, is a deeply flawed and deeply troubled human being. His greatest struggle will be against the East India Company which, throughout the nineteenth century, was the equivalent of the CIA, the NSA and the biggest, baddest multi-national corporation on earth, all rolled into one self righteous, religiously motivated monolith.”