Tom Hardy is set to star in the big screen adaptation of play The Long Red Road, the first feature from new production company Whipsmart.
The British actor will reprise his role of Sam – who he portrayed in Brett C. Leonard’s play in 2010 at Chicago’s Goodman Theater – alongside Michael Shannon, who will play the older brother of Hardy’s alter-ego.
Philip Seymour Hoffman has been linked with the role of director after helming the play in 2010.
Playwright Leonard, who worked as a former writer/producer on HBO’s Hung, will write the screen adaptation.
Hardy plays Sam, an alcoholic who spends his days drinking away his demons on an Indian reservation in South Dakota, before a visitor forces him to reassess his life.
Hardy currently stars as Batman’s enemy Bane in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises and can next be seen performing the role of Forrest Bondurant alongside Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain and Gary Oldman in John Hillcoat’s Lawless.
He is currently filming in South Africa on George Miller’s long in the making sequel to the Mad Max franchise Mad Max: Fury Road for Warner Bros.
Hardy plays the character that made Mel Gibson’s name in the 80s, but Gibson has approved the choice of the actor for the part, telling Comingsoon.net: “They cast him, but I sat down with the guy and I quite like him. I think he’s a good choice for that.
“I think he’s a good actor. He commits completely and he looks great. There’s this scary thing about him which is kind of right for that. Tom needed to sit down and talk more than I did. I’m really happy about that. But I hope they do a great job. I’m a big fan of George’s.
“We talked about this very project like 10 years ago. I actually wanted to do it, but then what happened was, the budget was nuts. It was crazy. I certainly hope they’ve become more realistic about it.”
Whipsmart was formed earlier this year by Paul Neesan, former head of production for Kerner Entertainment, and New Process Steel CEO Richard Fant. Neesan and Fant will produce with Leonard and Whipsmart Vice President Kyle Peck executive producing.