Colm Meaney has landed a recurring role on Will, TNT's new drama pilot chronicling the wild years of William Shakespeare's 20s.

The pilot from Craig Pearce, the longtime writing partner of director Baz Luhrman, will follow the story of a young Shakespeare's arrival onto the theatre scene in 16th century London.

Dublin-born Meaney will play the character of James Burbage, a carpenter with a vision to build the first theatre in London since Roman times, a 3,000 seat auditorium that became simply known as 'The Theatre'. He comes up against the authorities, rival theatres and a sometimes riotous audience to keep his dream afloat.

Sherkar Kapur is directing the pilot, which is described as a "hot, contemporary, dangerous" version of the revered playwright's life. Shakespeare will be played by Laurie Davidson.

Mattias Inwood has been cast as Richard, James' son, a young thespian who has a lot to learn about the world of theatre.

Meaney can next be seen on the big screen in The Journey from Nick Hamm which is currently in post-production. It tells the true story of how political enemies Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall) and Martin McGuinness (Meaney) end up taking a short journey which changes the course of history.