Steve Buscemi in 'Boardwalk' talks

Would star in Martin Scorsese's drama pilot

Steve Buscemi is in talks to star in "Boardwalk Empire," Martin Scorsese's drama pilot for HBO.

Kelly Macdonald also is in talks for a co-starring role in the project.

Written by Terrence Winter and to be directed by Scorsese, "Empire" is based on Nelson Johnson's book, which chronicles the 1920s origins of Atlantic City, N.J.

Buscemi would play Nucky Johnson, a cunning businessman who runs a liquor distribution ring at the onset of Prohibition.

The Scotland-born Macdonald would play Margaret, a smart Irish immigrant who married the wrong man to get out of her parents' house.

"Empire" is executive produced by Scorsese, his "Departed" star Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson and Winter.

The pilot reunites Buscemi with HBO following his stint on the pay cable network's mob drama "The Sopranos," which earned him Emmy noms for directing in 2001 and acting in 2004.

He landed another Emmy nom this year for his guest appearance on the NBC comedy "30 Rock."

Buscemi, whose upcoming features include "Youth in Revolt" and "Rage," is repped by Endeavor and the Gotham Group.

Macdonald is another familiar face at HBO. She won an Emmy for her role in the HBO/BBC movie "The Girl at the Cafe." The ICM-repped actress recently appeared in the Oscar-winning "No Country for Old Men" and the indie "Choke."
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