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Silver Pictures has been busy lately filling its slate with niche action dramas starring relative titans of the genre. Their latest deal involves The Outsider, a post-WWII thriller that was set up at Warner Bros. until the studio let its option expire. Now Silver is eyeing it as a possible vehicle for Tom Hardy.

Variety breaks the story, saying the lead role in The Outsider would be an American expatriate who stays in Japan in the years following the war, only to become a Yakuza enforcer. There’s a girl – there’s always a girl. And when our hero falls in love with her, it’s viewed as a betrayal against his criminal family.

The trade says that Hardy once was very interested in the part, but his schedule’s about as full as possible with shoots for George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road and the recent signing to Splinter Cell, based on the video games series inspired by Tom Clancy’s novels. Scheduling isn’t only a problem for Hardy. Safe House director Daniel Espinosa also was approached for Outsider when it was at Warner, and reportedly might still be interested in his calendar clears.

Is The Outsider just another project Hardy was circling while in-between gigs? Or does he believe enough in the material that he’s willing to squeeze it in while he waits for other projects to fall in line?

Either way, The Outsider fits into a pattern being established by Silver Pictures, which also is backing similar action thrillers like Non-Stop with Liam Neeson in the lead, and Prone Gunmen with Sean Penn. Which of these announced features are you most excited to see?

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