Steve Buscemi is in negotiations to star in Boardwalk Empire, Martin Scorsese's drama pilot for HBO.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kelly Macdonald is also in talks for a co-starring role in the project.

Written by Terrence Winter and to be directed by Scorsese, Boardwalk 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.

Boardwalk Empire is executive produced by Scorsese, Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson and Winter.