Michael Shannon to co-star in HBO pilot

To play government agent in Martin Scorsese's drama

Michael Shannon, an Oscar nominee for "Revolutionary Road," has been tapped to co-star in Martin Scorsese's HBO pilot "Boardwalk Empire."

Also cast in the project, based on Nelson Johnson's book about the early 20th century origins of Atlantic City, N.J., is Vincent Piazza as a young Lucky Luciano.

"Empire," written by Terrence Winter and to be directed by Scorsese, centers on Nucky Johnson (Steve Buscemi), who runs a liquor distribution ring at the onset of Prohibition, and Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt), a ruthless World War I veteran and a low-level flunky for Nucky.

Shannon will play Van Alden, a dedicated senior agent with the Treasury Department who with his team has been charged with controlling bootlegging in the Prohibition era.

Piazza's Luciano is a young associate of Arnold Rothstein, a rich, blunt New York businessman who wants in on Nucky's liquor production.

Shannon, repped by CAA and manager Byron Wetzel, appeared in two movies that played at Sundance this month: "The Missing Person" and "The Greatest." He recently wrapped "My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done," "Bad Lieutenant" and "13."

Piazza, who did multiepisode arcs on "The Sopranos" and "Rescue Me," is repped by Gersh.