Tom Hardy’s not taking it easy on himself these days. He’s currently appearing in Dunkirk, where he spends the entire film stuffed into a cramped cockpit while frantically evading death from above. And today brings the news of a new major project for the esteemed actor, one that will test his mettle with even more extreme conditions. If you thought one perilous beachside aerial attack was intense, then just you wait.

This new project sounds like a Stefon SNL sketch, but with sadness and personal trauma instead of nightclubs: “Tom Hardy’s newest project is My War Gone By, I Miss It So, and this movie has everything — the Bosnian War, paternal estrangement, heroin addiction, and that thing where the psychical scars from witnessing divorce at a young age never fully heal.” This adaptation of war correspondent Anthony Lloyd’s memoir tracks his tumultuous childhood, his search for meaning in the Bosnian genocide that he chronicled as a British soldier, and his long battle with substance abuse upon returning home from the field of war. It‘s a brutal, demanding character study, and what’s more, it may be just the role Hardy needs. He‘s recently been defined by his understated, subdued performances (many of which obscure his face) and a chance to really flex his muscles as an actor could be a godsend.

The film’s got an attached director, too. Gavin O’Connor — who did right by Hardy with the mixed martial arts family drama Warrior from 2011 — will get behind the camera for the presumably soon-to-be-retitled My War Gone By, I Miss It So. For him and his star, this could be an unprecedentedly weighty undertaking.

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