Tom Hardy to Play Legendary Explorer Ernest Shackleton in StudioCanal Biopic

     October 20, 2016

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Over a hundred years ago, polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton led three British expeditions to the Antarctic as part of what is remembered as “The Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.” His life inspired a 2002 television film, Shackleton, a BAFTA, Emmy, and Golden Globe-winning picture that starred Kenneth Branagh in the leading role.

Now, Deadline is reporting Shackleton’s life story is coming to the big screen with StudioCanal financing a film to be written by Frank and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy scribe Peter Straughan. Tom Hardy is expected to play the legendary real-life explorer whose ship, Endurance, became frozen in ice during a grandly-dubbed journey called “The Imperial Trans-Atlantic Expedition.” When it became clear that the Endurance was going to sink, Shackleton and his crew walked on ice floes for nearly 350 miles before again hitting solid ground, with the entire journey happening with the temperature nearing sub-zero. And that’s just one of his journeys.

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Image via 20th Century Fox

Tom Hardy had a big year in 2015, appearing in four films, which included the Oscar-winners The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road, as well as the BAFTA-nominated TV series Peaky Blinders. He’ll next make is American TV debut in the Ridley Scott and Steven Knight (Locke) produced FX series Taboo before reteaming with his inception director Christopher Nolan on the World War II thriller Dunkirk. Both are scheduled to debut in 2017. Hardy is also expected to return for George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road follow-up, which has been rumored to begin filming as soon as later this year.

Given the naturally cinematic nature of Shackleton’s story, there have been a few attempts to adapt it for the big screen over the years — indeed it was reported earlier this year that The Revenant scribe Mark L. Smith was working on one titled Endurance with Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Appian Way — but given the inherent technical difficulties behind telling such an epic story, it’s never come together before now.

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Image via Warner Bros.

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