Hollywood actor Tom Hardy, Peaky Blinders’ Steven Knight and director Ridley Scott (pictured) are creating an eight-part period drama for BBC One.
Knight, who created BBC drama Peaky Blinders, is the creator, while Hardy and his father Chips Hardy wrote the original story and is a consultant producer.
Knight has previously collaborated with Hardy (Dark Knight Rises, Inception) on feature film Locke and the actor is set to appear in season two of Peaky Blinders.
Set in the early 19th century, it follows a rogue adventurer, played by Hardy, who returns from Africa to avenge his father’s death, while building his own trade empire.
Shooting is expected to begin in the UK in 2015.
Hardy billed the series as “a flagship British drama for this generation”.
“This is a period in British history where the rising power of the Empire seeped into every dark corner,” added Scott. “Tom and Steven have created a fantastic world in which Tom’s character James will become iconic.”
“This is a major and ambitious undertaking for the BBC, reinforcing our commitment to be the best home for creative talent,” said Ben Stephenson, controller, drama commissioning, BBC.
Scott, Liza Marshall and Kate Crowe executive produce the project for Scott Free, with Hardy and Dean Baker doing the same for Hardy Baker. Knight is also executive producing.
BBC Three has also commissioned a batch of new shows, including Russell Brand: Give it Up, a 1x60mins doc in which the comedian and former addict Brand looks at approaches to drug treatment. Matchlight is producing.
Life Through Your Lens (WT), meanwhile, is a one-hour documentary from Fresh Online, a BBC Learning/BBC Three initiative, which features clips from young filmmakers.
Other new shows include Watershed-produced 3x60mins drugs doc Stacey Dooley: New Drugs Frontier, Roughcut’s Eye of the Tyger, Keo Films-produced Bangkok Airport (WT) and The Unit, and season three of in-house production Our War.