Buscemi and Macdonald Join HBO’s Empire

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Steve Buscemi is in talks to star in “Boardwalk Empire,” Martin Scorsese’s drama pilot for HBO, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Kelly Macdonald also is in talks for a co-starring role in the project.

Written by Terrence Winter and to be directed by Scorsese, “Empire” is based on Nelson Johnson’s book, which chronicles the 1920s origins of Atlantic City, N.J.

Buscemi would play Nucky Johnson, a cunning businessman who runs a liquor distribution ring at the onset of Prohibition.

The Scotland-born Macdonald would play Margaret, a smart Irish immigrant who married the wrong man to get out of her parents’ house.

“Empire” is executive produced by Scorsese, his “Departed” star Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson and Winter.