MIPTV: Tom Hardy Joins Forces With Ridley Scott for BBC Drama

11:00 PM PST 04/03/2014 by Stuart Kemp
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The actor reunited with "Locke" writer/director Steven Knight for "Taboo," a 19th century English drama to be touted to buyers by Sonar Entertainment.

LONDON – Tom Hardy has partnered up with executive producer Ridley Scott for Taboo, an eight-episode season created by Steven Knight (Locke).

Set in 1813, Taboo follows a rogue adventurer who returns to England from Africa with 14 ill-gotten diamonds to seek vengeance after the death of his father. Refusing to sell the family business to the East India Company, he sets out to build his own trade and shipping empire and finds himself playing a dangerous game with two warring nations, Britain and America. 

Scott Free London and Hardy Son & Baker are producing the project for BBC One and Sonar Entertainment, which is distributing the series in territories outside the U.K.

STORY: Tom Hardy Joins BBC's 'Peaky Blinders'

"We’re creating a flagship British drama for this generation," said Hardy, describing the show as a a "hybrid of orthodox and unconventional storytelling, packed with darkness and spirited characters."

The BAFTA-winning actor added: "I think Steve Knight and Ridley Scott are the perfect partners and the BBC the perfect home for this hugely exciting and compelling project."

Scott believes the project will be truly standout in its approach to the era in which it is set.

"This is a period in British history where the rising power of the Empire seeped into every dark corner,” Scott said. 

Knight said his rogue adventurer is "a deeply flawed and deeply troubled human being," describing the East India Company throughout the nineteenth century as "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."

NYC based distributor Sonar Entertainment CEO Stewart Till said his company, formerly RHI Entertainment, is "strongly committed to the production of quality original series for the global marketplace," adding that Taboo is "an outstanding example of that strategy.”

BBC Drama commissioning controller Ben Stephenson said: "Following on from Steven Knight and Tom Hardy’s collaboration in series two of Peaky Blinders, I am thrilled that they are reunited alongside Ridley Scott to produce an ambitious drama series for BBC1. This is a major and ambitious undertaking for the BBC, reinforcing our commitment to be the best home for creative talent."

Taboo is based on an original story by Hardy and Chips Hardy, his father who is also serving as consulting producer. 

Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Warrior) most recently starred in Scott Free’s Child 44.

He is represented by Jack Whigham and Mick Sullivan at CAA and Lindy King at United Agents.

Taboo is set to begin shooting in the U.K. in January 2015.

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