By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com May 3, 2011 at 1:02AM
It seems like the Orlando Bloom comeback is underway in full force. For a little while after he broke through in "Lord of the Rings," the actor was the go-to-guy for period actioners, with leads in "Troy," the "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Kingdom of Heaven." But he never had the same success in contemporary fare, or got to grips with the tricky task of delivering his lines as anything other than a bland, smirking robot, and the actor's been essentially absent from screens since the third 'Pirates' movie.
But he's slowly started to dip his toe back in the water -- he crops up in Mark Ruffalo's "Sympathy for Delicious," which opened last week, and he's got another pair of indie films on the way, "The Good Doctor," and "Main Street," with Colin Firth. Plus he's getting back to what he does best, swashbuckling, with both a heavily rumored return as Legolas in "The Hobbit," and with a villainous role in Paul W.S. Anderson's "The Three Musketeers." And now he's signed up for a film that sounds pretty promising, all things considered.
Variety reports that Bloom is in negotiations to star alongside mumblecore darling Greta Gerwig in Fox Searchlight's romantic comedy "Lola Versus," the new film from Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones, who were behind last year's modest indie success "Breaking Upwards." The duo have again collaborated on the script, with Wein directing and Lister-Jones taking an acting role in the project (it's unclear if Wein, who also acted in "Breaking Upwards," will appear on screen as well, but we imagine it's likely), in which Gerwig will play a woman dumped by her fiancé shortly before her wedding, who heads out on a "series of encounters to attempt to discover her place in the world as a single woman before she turns 30."
The project sounds not unlike our beloved "Liars A-E," an Emma Forrest script that Richard Linklater was going to make with Rebecca Hall and Kat Dennings a few years back, which was undone when Miramax collapsed. Anne Hathaway was at one point attached to the role that Gerwig's now taken, but presumably conflicts with "The Dark Knight Rises" ruled out any involvement.
We certainly hope that Bloom has learned a few new tricks in his time away, but even if he hasn't, it doesn't seem like his role is large enough to undo the whole film -- it sounds from the premise like he'll be more or less absent for much of the film. And we're glad Gerwig's got a well-deserved prominent lead role, although again, we hope that the material will be more challenging than the bland characters she's had in the studio world fare like "No Strings Attached" and "Arthur." Filming begins in New York in June, so a 2012 release seems likely.