EXCLUSIVE: Tom Hardy will star in The Outsider, a Silver Pictures’ film that will mark the English-language debut of Japanese director Takashi Miike, who’s in negotiations to direct the Andrew Baldwin script. The film is based on an original idea by John Linson, who will produce along with Art Linson through their Linson Entertainment banner. Joel Silver, Andrew Rona and Steve Richards will produce for Silver Pictures. The project, originally set at Warner Bros, will be independently financed to shoot in Japan early next year. It’s an epic story set in post-World War II Japan, chronicling the life of a former American G.I. who becomes part of the Japanese yakuza.Hardy has become the go-to guy for everything, with startling diversity. The Warrior star is right now circling a chance to play Elton John in Rocketman, the Michael Gracey-directed project that just got Lawrence Bender aboard to produce, with UTA in the process of setting up distribution, having landed financing in Cannes. After The Dark Knight Rises, Hardy next stars in the franchise reboot Mad Max: Fury Road. He also stars in the Dennis Lehane-scripted and Michael R. Roskam-directed Animal Rescue opposite Noomi Rapace, Matthias Schoenaerts and James Gandolfini, and in the Daniel Espinosa-directed Child 44 for Scott Free and Summit.

New to Hollywood films is Miike, who has helmed more than 60 Japanese-language films including Ichi the Killer, 13 Assassins and Audition. The Linsons are executive producers the FX series Sons of Anarchy, and their features include Lords of Dogtown and Fight Club.

Silver Pictures is about to start The Gunman, with Sean Penn and Javier Bardem starring. Next up for Silver Pictures is the airline thriller Non-Stop which stars Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore and hits theaters February 28, 2014. CAA reps Hardy, along with United Agents.