INCEPTION star Tom Hardy is in talks to play famous Mount Everest explorer George Mallory in a new biopic.

The Bourne Identity director and avid climber Doug Liman is working on adaptiing Paths of Glory, a novel about Mallory's ill-fated attempt to become the first man to scale the world's highest mountain, to the big screen and the British actor is now in negotiations to take on the lead role.

Mallory took part in three expeditions to Mount Everest during the 1920s, but, in 1924, the mountaineer disappeared near the northern ridge on his way to the summit. His body was discovered 75 years later, but it remains a mystery as to whether he ever reached the top.