TV has arguably never been better, with more networks and streaming sites than ever before producing top-notch fiction. But you know what U.S. television has been in dire need of since its inception? More Tom Hardy. (Inception pun intended.) Luckily, the rock solid Londoner is heading to FX along with Ridley Scott and Oscar-nominated director Steven Knight. The subject matter: diamonds and murder.
FX has put in a series order (as did BBC One across the pond) for eight episodes of Taboo, a dark drama that takes place in 1813. It will follow Hardy as James Keziah Delaney, an adventurer who comes across 14 diamonds (in a manner that probably isn’t considered legal) on a trip to Africa. James will use the diamonds in avenging the death of his father, and attempts to build his own trading and shipping empire outside of the grip of the East India Company. This task, as you can imagine, turns out to be an extremely dangerous one, and the series will follow John’s story of vengeance and independence. Considering it’s on FX, I think we can bank on that vengeance being of the violent variety.
The story is one that’s close to Tom Hardy’s heart, as he wrote it with his father Chips Hardy, but Knight is being called the creator here, so it’s unclear who will be given the screenwriter credit. He and Hardy are quite familiar with each other, having worked on the small-scale drama Locke together. Both men will be executive producing, along with Ridley Scott and his Scott Free Films. This much talent going into one project on such a critically acclaimed network is almost too good to be true.
FX is losing Sons of Anarchy next month, and Justified next year, which will leave a big hole in the network’s programming schedule. Luckily, arguably great shows like The Strain, Fargo and The Americans are all still around, and FX is currently putting together other presumably intense dramas like Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story and Kurt Sutter’s The Bastard Executioner. Not to mention all the comedies they’ve got coming. I’m pretty sure Tom Hardy and a giant beard killing people over diamonds will fit right in to the madness.
Tom Hardy’s latest TV role has been on the acclaimed British crime drama Peaky Blinders, which wrapped its second season earlier this month. He did technically make it to U.S. TV for Band of Brothers and Masterpiece Theatre’s The Virgin Queen, but not in huge starring roles. Hardy has a lot on the horizon, including George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road, Daniel Esponosa’s Stalin-era thriller Child 44, Brian Helgeland’s gangster thriller Legend. He’s currently filming Alejandro González Iñárritu’s drama The Revenant, and he’s supposed to be in the Suicide Squad. He’s a busy guy.
So it’s understandable that we’ll sadly be waiting quite a while to get our eyes on Taboo, as the U.K.-set production on the series isn’t even expected to begin until past the midway point in 2015, with FX planning on premiering the eight-episode season in mid-2016. That kind of delay is a taboo in and of itself, but we’ll definitely be waiting for it.