Tom Hardy

Producers aiming to shoot Yakuza story in early 2014

Tom Hardy has come on board Yakuza drama “The Outsider” with Takashi Miike in negotiations to direct what would be his first English-language film.

Linson Entertainment and Silver Pictures are producing “The Outsider,” which will be independently financed. Plans are to start shooting in Japan early next year.

Hardy had been mentioned as a candidate to star when “The Outsider” was being developed at Warner Bros., but the option expired and Silver acquired the Andrew Baldwin script last November.  Story is set in post-WWII Japan and follows an American expatriate who becomes a Yakuza enforcer.

The project is based on an original idea by John Linson, who will produce along with Art Linson through their Linson Entertainment banner. Joel Silver, Andrew Rona and Steve Richards will produce through Silver Pictures.

Hardy’s credits include “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Inception” and the upcoming “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Miike has directed more than 60 Japanese-language films including “Ichi the Killer,” “13 Assassins” and “Audition.”

Silver Pictures, which saw its longtime Warner Bros. deal end last year, is in pre-production on “The Gunman,” starring Sean Penn and Javier Bardem. Its thriller “Non-Stop,” starring Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore, is being released through Universal on Feb. 28.

The deals for Hardy and Miike were first reported by the Deadline Hollywood site.

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