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.
The pilot reunites Buscemi with HBO following his stint on the pay cable network's mob drama "The Sopranos," which earned him Emmy noms for directing in 2001 and acting in 2004.
He landed another Emmy nom this year »
- By Nellie Andreeva
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