Orlando Bloom & Imogen Poots To Star In The Period Drama 'The Laureate'

by Oliver Lyttelton
January 28, 2011 2:12 AM
5 Comments
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Kerry Condon Also Joins, Dominic Cooper and Hayley Atwell Out



For a time at the beginning of the 21st century, it seemed that you couldn't get a blockbuster period piece greenlit without the presence of British star Orlando Bloom. After breaking out as badass elf Legolas in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, Bloom turned up in "Troy," "Kingdom of Heaven" and the first three "Pirates of the Caribbean" films -- hell, even Cameron Crowe anointed him as the star of his contemporary rom-com "Elizabethtown."

Unfortunately, we all know how that one turned out, and it became increasingly clear over time that Bloom's performances were whittled from a mighty oak -- sure, he could look pretty and swing a sword, but emoting? Not so much. Bloom's now been pretty much absent from the big-screen for four years, outside of a brief cameo in "New York, I Love You," and a role in the still-undistributed Mark Ruffalo-helmed "Sympathy for Delicious."

But with three roles coming up in 2011, including a villainous turn in Paul W.S. Anderson's "The Three Musketeers," and a reprisal of Legolas in "The Hobbit" looking likely, the Bloom comeback is in full force, and hopefully the actor has used his time away to, well, learn how to act. He'll face his biggest challenge in a newly announced project, in which the actor will play legendary war poet Robert Graves.

Screen Daily announces that Bloom will topline "The Laureate," a project from Media 8 ("Running Scared") and writer/director William Nunez, which shows the love triangle between Graves, his wife, the artist Nancy Nicholson, and the American poet Laura Riding. The three lived together in Cairo and London in an open triangle for many years, until Graves began to favor Riding. Bloom will be joined by Playlist favorite Imogen Poots (the upcoming "Fright Night"), who'll play Riding, and rising Irish star Kerry Condon ("The Last Station"), who'll play Nicholson.

When the project was first announced at Cannes last year, the "Captain America" duo of Dominic Cooper and Hayley Atwell were attached, but both have fallen off due to scheduling conflicts. Director Nunez says that: "At its core, 'The Laureate' will be a study of intense relationships: what created them, what can undo them, what they encompass, what they can alter, and what they can’t."

It certainly seems like there's plenty of drama here to sustain a decent period drama (albeit one that sounds not unlike the John Maybury-helmed Dylan Thomas biopic "The Edge of Love" from a few years back), and Condon and Poots are certainly terrific actresses, even if Nunez is something of an unknown quantity, and swapping in Bloom for Cooper is something of a step down, to say the least. There's no word on when filming will kick off, although Media 8 will start to lure buyers at the European Film Market next month.

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5 Comments

  • not fair | January 30, 2011 2:38 AMReply

    Sorry,
    I CAN SURE

  • not fair | January 30, 2011 1:58 AMReply

    That's really not fair.
    I don't want him too hot, just step by step slowly and calm. He will be Colin Firth next after 10 or 20 years, I can such.
    I like his film Main Street, he worked with Colin Firth, wonderful.

  • erendira | January 29, 2011 11:17 AMReply

    Why on earth some critics don't bother in watch the work of an actor before bashing him in such a nasty and unfair way,is something I'll never undertand.As Co said above,his performances in Ned Kelly and Haven are more than outstanding,and have you seen the Director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven?(the real movie,'cause the theatrical release was a joke and a "pants down" by Mr Scott)sure not...
    Learn how to act?he's not a model turned an actor...he's a former actor,from the most pretigious art&drama; school of England,it is assumed that they know how to act when they graduate.
    He can look emoting?sue not for someone with s many prejudice like you.

  • Co | January 28, 2011 4:42 AMReply

    Orlando has only started getting roles that can exhibit more range. He has already turned in good performances in Ned Kelly, and Haven. Mark Ruffalo recently announced Sympathy will be released in April 2011. Why do you critics always have to be such smart-asses when he comes to Orlando. Get over yourself. Give him a chance, haters. Have a nice day.

  • nimeataur | January 28, 2011 2:46 AMReply

    bloom a step down from dominic cooper, youve got be joking ,hopeless in duchess bloomm would have done it better cooper then produced the most embarassing scene ever in the wedding in mama mia the audience cringed ,blooms performance in sympathy for delicoius knocked spots off cooper in a similar role so get over knocking orlando hes in different class to cooper and something cooper will never be a star

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