Tom Hardy
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Sonar Entertainment is distributing the series in territories outside the U.K.

LONDON — Thesp Tom Hardy has partnered up with executive producer Ridley Scott for “Taboo,” an eight-part miniseries created by Steven Knight (“Dirty Pretty Things,” “Locke,” “Eastern Promises”).

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

Set in 1813, “Taboo” follows James Keziah Delaney (Hardy), a rogue adventurer who returns 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.

“This man, James Delaney, is a deeply flawed and deeply troubled human-being. His greatest struggle will be against the East India Company which, throughout the 19th century, was 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,” Knight said.

“We’re creating a flagship British drama for this generation,” Hardy said. “A hybrid of orthodox and unconventional story telling, packed with darkness and spirited characters.”

Scott said: “This is a period in British history where the rising power of the empire seeped into every dark corner.”

He added: “Tom and Steven have created a fantastic world in which Tom’s character James will become iconic.”

Executive producers are Scott, Liza Marshall and Kate Crowe for Scott Free, Tom Hardy and Dean Baker for Hardy Baker, and Knight. The series is based on an original story by Hardy and Chips Hardy, his father, who is also serving as consulting producer.

Hardy’s credits include “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Inception” and “Warrior.” He most recently played the lead role 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. January 2015.

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