Martin Scorsese may helm HBO pilot

May direct drama based on Nelson Johnson's book

Oscar winner Martin Scorsese is in negotiations to direct HBO's drama pilot "Boardwalk Empire."

Scorsese already is exec producer on the project, based on Nelson Johnson's book, which chronicles the 1920s origins of gambling mecca Atlantic City.

Following HBO's green light to the Terence Winter-written script last month, there had been some speculation that Scorsese might take the helm, but given his busy schedule, that was not easy to pull off. "Boardwalk" marks Scorsese's first foray into drama series; his only other TV directing credit is one episode of Steven Spielberg's mid-'80s anthology series "Amazing Stories."

Scorsese, an Oscar winner for "The Departed," is in postproduction on "Shutter Island," starring his frequent leading man Leonardo DiCaprio.

Endeavor-repped Scorsese exec produces "Boardwalk" with one of his "Departed" stars, Mark Wahlberg, as well as Stephen Levinson and Winter.

Scorsese is the second Oscar winner HBO has tapped to direct a pilot this year. Alexander Payne is on board to helm the comedy "Hung."
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