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Tom Hardy, Michael Shannon drive ‘Long Red Road’

Hardy to reprise his role in bigscreen adaptation of Brett C. Leonard play

Tom Hardy and Michael Shannon are attached to topline “The Long Red Road” in the first feature from newly-minted Whipsmart, headed by longtime producer Paul Neesan and Houston steel magnate Richard Fant.

Hardy is reprising his role as Sam in Brett C. Leonard’s play of the same name, in which he attempts to drink away his demons on an Indian reservation in South Dakota. When a visitor from his past arrives, Sam has to take a hard look at the man he’s become and the life he left behind.

Shannon is on board to play the older brother of Hardy’s character.

“The Long Red Road” premiered in 2010 at the Goodman Theater in Chicago with Philip Seymour Hoffman directing. It’s uncertain if Hoffman will be attached to direct the feature version.

Leonard, a former writer/producer on HBO’s “Hung” and a longtime member of New York’s Labyrinth Theater Company, will write the screen adaptation. He was also recently tapped to adapt Frederick Exley Jr.’s “A Fan’s Notes.”

Whipsmart was formed earlier this year by Neesan, who had been head of production for Kerner Entertainment, and New Process Steel CEO Fant.

Neesan and Fant will produce with Leonard and Whipsmart VP Kyle Peck exec producing.

Fant has supplied Whipsmart with a “substantial” development fund and will finance some of the projects. Neeson exec produced both “Smurfs” films and “Charlotte’s Web.”

Hardy, who portrays Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises,” will next be seen in “Lawless” and is currently filming George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” for Warner Bros.

Shannon, a regular on “Boardwalk Empire,” will be seen in “Premium Rush” and in the role of General Zod in Warner’s “Man of Steel” next summer.

Hardy, Shannon and Leonard are repped by CAA. Whipsmart is repped by Karl Austen at Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris and Klein.

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