'Big Dead Place': James Gandolfini Developing Antarctica Memoir To HBO Show

Having bossed the crime underground of New Jersey, James Gandolfini is, believe it or not, headed to perhaps an even crazier secret world.

The former "Sopranos" star is set to executive produce and most likely star in a TV series adaptation of "Big, Dead Place," Nicholas Johnson's memoir about his time spent working in the US' Antarctic Program. The series, Deadline reports, is set up at HBO and will have an all-star cable lineup working behind the scenes, including Peter Gould of "Breaking Bad."

The book paints a much different picture of what one might expect of a science institute in the desolate, freezing wilds of the last unexplored continent. From the Publisher Weekly's review and synopsis, via Amazon:

When Johnson went to work for the U.S. Antarctic Program (devoted to scientific research and education in support of the national interest in the Antarctic), he figured he'd find adventure, beauty, penguins and lofty-minded scientists. Instead, he found boredom, alcohol and bureaucracy. As a dishwasher and garbage man at McMurdo Station, Johnson quickly shed his illusions about Antarctica. Since he and his co-workers seldom ventured beyond the station's grim, functional buildings, they spent most of their time finding ways to entertain themselves, drinking beer, bowling and making home movies.

Gandolfini has kept busy with a number of projects since "The Sopranos" ended; he starred in the military satire "In The Loop," had a supporting role in "The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3," featured in "Welcome to the Rileys" and appeared in HBO's "Cinema Verite."