Orlando Bloom Boards Priest Abuse Drama 'Romans'

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Orlando Bloom

The 'Lord of the Rings' actor will play a man troubled by his past in the independent British feature.

While he might be better known on screen for his skill with an Elvish bow and arrow or for prancing about pirate ships with Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom is set to start shooting a wholly different project.

In Romans, announced Tuesday, the British actor will star as Malky, a man still trying to come to terms with crippling insecurity resulting from childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted and idolized priest. Based on real-life events, the story will see the combination of the abuse, the withdrawal of his mother’s love and abandonment of God set Malky’s life on a twisted trajectory of violent employment, serial self-abuse and psychotic sexual jealousy. Malky must confront the demons that have been haunting him for 20 years and makes the decision to forgive his abuser despite aching for violent revenge.

To be directed by the Shamassian Brothers (The Pyramid Texts) from a screenplay by BAFTA-winning writer Geoff Thompson, whose 2008 short Romans 12:20 was the basis for the feature, Romans is produced by WSG Entertainment’s Sheetal Vinod Talwar as well as James Harris and Mark Lane, The Tea Shop & Film Company and Jasper Graham, Dreamscape Films. It will start shooting in London on Nov. 16.

Romans is an incredible script. The dialogue is brilliant and believable; the reversals and surprises are well placed and powerful. The characters and situations are vividly drawn," said Talwar. "Orlando was the perfect choice for Malky and will take audiences on a raw and harrowing voyage through the inner human psyche. With the Shamassian Brothers at the helm, it’s going to be a beautiful picture.”

Bloom is represented by Independent Talent Group, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and CAA.